Alex Beck is an award-winning painter and illustrator who maintains a studio in Richmond, Virginia. Known for his uncommonly versatile work in oil, acrylic, and gouache, he's had his images appear in S Moda, The Paris Exchange, Whurk Magazine, Arlington Magazine, Spectrum Fantastic Art Annual #19, Creative Quarterly, and showcased at the both the LA & NY Society of Illustrators.
Previous to his fine art career, Beck’s work experience includes working as a concept/production artist for the Oscar/Emmy-winning animation house, Moonbot Studios and production work for Myachi Entertainment, The Design Center, and Tervis Tumbler.
Beck was formally trained at Ringling College of Art and Design. He also expanded his training at the Illustration Academy in Kansas City, Missouri, The Masters Class at Amherst, Massachusetts, and The Art League of Alexandria, Virginia where he has previously been a teacher.
I find my reference through found travelogues and old photo albums. I’m inspired by the decay of Kodachrome film and its discoloration against the acidity of the paper it’s held against for years. The different man-made lighting scenarios that describe a subject’s mood; how a Polaroid flash hints at a sense of urgency. My process begins with a digital collage of found images from thrift stores and eventually is finished with observational painting directly from my life, procuring a conversation with my life and the life of another.
Form, figure and color are at the center of my work. I have explored these focuses in two main parts: my personal practice and private commissions. The people in my compositions are often born from another person’s nostalgia and appropriated through vintage photography. I influence these images by juxtaposing the familiar with what isn’t understood. For example, ordinary family portraits gone wrong, serene living rooms interrupted by orgies, house fires and herds of cats around a playful summer lawn. They are places vicarious by nature but are as much real as they are fantastic. I intend to present an incomplete puzzle to mimic how we recount our memories; theatrical and fragmented.