Naomi Alessandra

naomialessandra's picture

(415) 269-2942

Code and Canvas
151 Potrero Avenue Room #Entry Lobby
San Francisco, CA 94103

I’m a painter and illustrator living in the SF Bay Area. My work is engaged with provocative allegorical storytelling. With a background in literature and critical theory, I approach my practice with an attention to language and discourse that is as acute as my interest in visual form. My work invites the viewer into an aesthetically compelling tableau while offering visual riddles that provoke deeper engagement with the subject matter.

My media varies, but you’ll usually find me dripping watercolor on paper, then taping the paper up to make detailed line drawings atop the bleeds and flows. In this way, I allow a measure of chaos before I tame the work into cohesion. This balancing of disorder and control is a primary consideration in my practice.

I’ve been an illustrator for years, but my fine art career began in earnest in 2016. For my first solo exhibition, Entanglement (2016), I began working large-scale and strengthening my technique to facilitate execution of more complex ideas. For The Slap (2017), I hand-painted a 168-frame animated short that advanced my narrative impulse. Ghost Garden (2018) saw me stretching into sculptural territory while continuing to hone my mark-making. Monstrosity (2018) grappled with portrayals of female sexuality in the horror genre, with a focus on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Recently, I delved into the symbology of plenitude and capital with A Golden Shining Thing (2019).

I’m currently developing a series of paintings inspired by semiotician Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, which identifies 80 aspects of the love experience and examines how language and image inform desire. My series addresses Barthes’ fragments alongside works of other thinkers who explore the love question (bell hooks, Chris Kraus). Ultimately I will develop a visual essay of 80 paintings that act as a catalog of these complex emotional states, using a carefully-formulated vocabulary of visual metaphors and marks that I’m currently devising.