The work of Alex Kuhn explores the boundaries symbol and meaning. His use of monochromatic and vibrant color, work alongside one another to illustrate a world of natural forms and subjects, which explore the absurdities of birth, life, nature, perception, dreams, and death.
Alex’s earlier work is created using a combination of techniques including painting, pyrography, illustration, and woodcarving. The lesser known of these is pyrography or “writing with fire.” Pyrography is the method of burning wood with heated metal or open flame for the purposes of creating a design. For Alex, this technique is the foundation from which all of his other techniques and styles were born. All of these works Alex creates seek to find a harmony between the monochromatic tones of burned wood, and the use of vibrant paint. Unlike painting or drawing where the medium covers the canvas, in pyrography, the burned wood and the canvas are one and the same.
In addition to the Alex’s Pyrography which explores themes of life & death, Alex has recently created a new technique in what he called, “Ink Flowing.” This process uses the air from the artists lungs, expelled through a straw, to move small droplets of ink around a canvas. Alex finds this process to be beautiful not only in its appearance, but also because one of the mediums required to create the work is his own life force: The air that he breaths.
This “Ink Flowing” technique took a once monochromatic period for Alex and turned it on it’s head: Introducing a world of color to a previously dark inner landscape. This explosion of color led Alex to want bigger and bigger canvases to represent his visions. At this point of the Artist’ journey, Alex jumped into the world of Murals. The first mural Alex designed was at his previous high-school.
This ambitious 40ft. x 11ft. behemoth depicts the high-school anthropomorphized as one of its students. The body of the student is made up of many spaces and rooms iconic to the school. Appearing around the “campus” of the school, many smaller figures can be seen carrying out activities that the school has to offer its students. This project was particularly special for Alex because it employed the use of 15 rising seniors in the concept, draft, and execution phases of the project. Alex helped the students to organize their ideas and showed them how to make this vision a reality.
Alex believes that Art has an immense and unexplored power – The ability to transmit a complex set of ideas through simple visual stimuli to people regardless of language, ethnicity, or age. His goal in creating his work is to explore these functions and refine them over time in order to streamline his communication of thought, and his artworks’ ability to visually teach concepts to the viewer. Additionally, Alex believes that life is short, so why not make art.