02 January 2014

Alex Roulette

Waiting, 2012, Oil on panel, 28in x 35.5in

Alex Roulette, Smoke Bomb
Smoke Bomb, 2012, Oil on panel, 33in x 44in

Installation view of 'Freeway's Reach' 
at George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, January 2011

I'd like this post to kick off what I hope will be a weekly post on an artist, or a collection of works, or a show, or something arty going on in the world... that I'd like to share. Since I'm an art history major, it sometimes feels like all I think about is art. But within the world of art, focus can vary so much. I bounce between ancient and modern, middle ages and contemporary. It's all over the place, and I like so much of what I see, here in Edinburgh, abroad, and online. I just want to carve out a tiny space on this blog to highlight artists and work that really speak to me -- for whatever reason. They may be big-timey artists or they may be illustrators, or they may just be showing their first work. I'm all for it, and if I like it, I'd like to share. :D

Firstly, I just came across this artist Alex Roulette, a young painter who just earned his MFA in 2013 from Columbia University. His artist website is wonderful, so it's worth checking out. He paints rather uncanny, photographic images that give the impression of a dream or a memory that seem realistic, but with a twist. The perspective is sometimes a little skewed, like a camera's wide angle, the color a little strange. There's drama roiling just beneath the almost apparently calm surface. The places are recognizably everyday sorts of places--motels, neighborhoods, roads--but the solitary figures, saturated hues and photographic perspective make us think twice about what's really going on.

I love the texture and the way he handles the paint. In some places it looks thin, in others dabbed, and sometimes textured, but always solid. The colors pop and play against one another. In Waiting, the blue doors and yellow ceiling jar with the bright red, and frame the neutral grey parking lot where a figure rises as if something has just drawn his attention. Perhaps someone or something he was waiting for is arriving? In Smoke Bomb, the smoke is a bright turquoise that complements the Pepto-Bismol pink of the houses against a neutral, wall-like forest in the background.

I'll definitely be following Roulette's bright future. (All images via alexroulette.com - please check out for wonderful hi-res images and details, plus past work!)

Kate xx


  1. These are stunning! I thought the first one was a photograph for a second-very nice use of red +cyan.

    Little Blue Backpack

    1. The photographic quality was what hit me at first too... The colors are intense!