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Alex Fischer, a Canadian contemporary artist, uses his roots in the gorgeous vastness of Canada’s landscapes to create uniquely stunning portals into nature, animal and human portraiture. Using a delicious combination of realism and contemporary conceptualism, Fischer channels an ‘inner urgency’ through various means: physical, digital, and sculptural. All of his works share a similar flavor of introspection and poignant, organic creativity, no matter the medium. A strong, natural vibe envelopes his creations, where moss, plants and animals entangle; from realism to abstraction.
Working ardently and unrestricted by style or niche, Fischer’s fascinating process explores the boundaries of identity, beauty, and abstraction, “I’ll use any means at my disposal to explore visual space.” Read on to find out more about Fischer and his haunting, nature-laced visuals.
What is your preferred medium to work with?
Most of the labor is done in Photoshop. Sometimes the images I make are treated as sketches and turned into paintings but more often than not the digital images are produced and best seen as a print.
Tell us a little bit about your life. Was art always present?
I grew up in the early 90s on the Canadian countryside, surrounded by a landscape of forests, fields, and lakes. With my family also being generally creative, I recognized pretty early on how rewarding making things can feel. My earliest exposure to Art was probably in books. Historical masters might have inspired a romantic notion of what it meant to be an artist, but I found it suited both my ambition and neurotic habits.
What is your artistic background, when and how did you start? How did you end up with the style you currently work in?
I drew a lot as a kid and by the time I was a teenager I had honed making realistic portrait drawings and pastel landscapes. It was a great way to see dedication and practice pay off. I pretty quickly turned to work with my computer though. The open-ended nature of digital imaging has always been fascinating to me. It’s a window into all other visual experiences. Pixel art was all that was possible at first, then basic photo manipulation, today there are generative algorithms that let us mashup and imagine scenes impossible just a few years ago. It’s still called digital imaging but I recently started using the term assisted imaging in the sense that algorithmic processes are my studio assistants. Basically, today in my practice, I’ll use any means at my disposal to explore visual space.
How do you usually work and where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the great uncertainty that is creativity. As many artists do, I create things as a way to channel an inner urgency. Sometimes I set out with something specific in mind like a technique, cause or intellectual story, but I’m often not satisfied with a piece unless there’s something inexplicable to work through. Working with assisted imaging is prime for this since it allows for the results of different imaging strategies to be generated quickly. I’m always learning what changing a few parameters can do and I consider it my job to refine those strategies draw out the content in generated abstractions. I like to shed light on the human element of the story.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite tools to work with?
Any camera, Photoshop, Corel Painter, a Cintiq, wood, water-based oils, and Github.
What do you hope your work achieves or invokes?
Questions and some relaxation.
How do you feel about being a young artist in a modern society?
I feel less young every day that I don’t stretch. These are strange times and I imagine they’ll only get stranger. We’re all learning new interfaces, AIs are set to displace swaths of the workforce, and planet earth is going through an extinction event. Couple those concerns with a personal ambition to ease suffering, contribute to discourse, and navigate effectively the rules of economic rentability. We all feel like we have our work cut out for us, don’t we?