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ALEXANDRA BELLISSIMO – Surreal and Sublime Human + Nature Collages

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As I may have said more than once, I love surrealism – and I specially love self-portraiture by women.  Combine the two, and you have, for me at least, a visual feast I come back to again and again.

Alexandra Bellissimo offers a banquet of delights – a series of self-portraits into which she uses collages elements of nature – shrubs, bushes, trees, tree roots,  birds to create fascinating human + nature  images that have you staring.
I have never been a great fan of collages,  because they are not often done well.
But in Alexandra’s work, the effect is awesome – and she’s almost converted me. I wouldn’t mind having some of her work on my walls. And, because of her, I might actually seek out other collage artists in the future.

She  was born and raised in the Los Angeles area and attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. where she received her BFA in photography.  Her body of work strongly revolves around the theory of “making” pictures instead of simply, “taking” pictures. She executes her visual intentions through incorporating traditional collaging techniques, as well as digital manipulation to each surreal photograph. As she says on her website  she “… has always been motivated towards the creation of unique imagery”.

She is rather new on the scene having graduated relatively recently – here’s a video of her graduation on Vimeo  but she already shows a maturity of concept, wit and aesthetics making her one to watch.

This is how she describes the process of creating the color image first in the set above “…Here is my newest collage that I have completed, (and look! there’s color!). I have to say, this is hands down the most FRUSTRATING collage I have done to date…Shooting my self-portrait with the green backdrop in my studio was cake. When it came to physically piecing it together it was extremely challenging. I was using different photographs of moss covered boulders with different focal points in order to create the appearance that layers of moss were wrapping around my face. It’s difficult to see in the scan above, but there are at least 100 separate pieces of moss to make up the entire mass of it all. The entire collage took about 5-6 full days to complete.”
And then comes a bit of panic: “…So how many collages did I say I wanted to finish by 2011?……20?…Yikes.”

This is the story of the 2nd image in the set above:  “I used my sister Madison as the model for “Euphoria”. I reverted back to my old “tiling” technique for this collage because I wanted to create a juxtaposition between rigid cuts and layers with the soft subject matter in the photographs. If you can’t tell by the scan above, the floating tile images are of dandelions. Lots and lots of dandelions.”
There is obviously a lot of work involved in each image – from the conceptualizing through the photography of the model and the natural elements and then the tedious, painstaking task of piecing together the image bit by bit.
But in the end, Alexandra triumphs.

[We will feature an interview with the artist as soon as is possible.]

 

 


See more of Alexandra Bellissimo here:



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I N V I T A T I O N

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1. You may have seen, or better yet - photographed, something fabulous. Even if that something is YOU!
If you send it to me, I will publish it here and give you full credit for it and link to your FB page or your website.

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Thanks - Harry Neelam



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