New Image Art, Los Angeles
Alex Gardner’s paintings have a cold, surreal feeling upon first glance, but as one engages the work further, the caring hand, the gentle embrace, and the smooth caress become equally apparent. The bodies are youthfully slender, sensually sleek, and mysteriously beautiful with the omission of facial features furthering the notion of a universal human experience.
Gardner's figures demonstrate a bionic sensibility complete with their own artificial intelligence conveying the emotive backlash to a digital revolution where human interaction has been refined to a synthetic online experience made to fit within a screen. All figures are black yet they reflect no race and every race convincingly. Both female and male figures play out various roles of their relationship through the portrayal of body language. Both genders are fluid in form and motion giving the works a sense of imbued balance. Gardner’s work demonstrates a simplistic painting style with a soothing palette and composition.
What is really going on in each piece is a mysteriously familiar, which perhaps speaks to the ever-changing landscape of relationships. The sexual roles are turned around and race and gender are rendered equal. Given our current socio-political climate of gender inequality and racial strife, Gardner breaks through the noise and creates a sexy cold world of mystery.