I am a painter, muralist, illustrator and designer. I am originally from Atlanta but have lived and/or studied fine art in several different cities including Prague, Boston, Chicago, New York, Halifax, Cape Town and New Orleans. Each place has contributed invaluable inspiration for which I will be forever grateful. In addition to working in my studio, I currently teach visual arts at an elementary school level for the Community Works non-profit program here in New Orleans.
My present studio practice is split between two series. The first consists of creating layered oil paintings on panel and canvas. I have been exploring a body of paintings, which I call "Where-Scapes". They are essentially imaginary landscapes. My intent is to create a space that lingers between worlds and inspires a sense of curiosity. I am attempting to explore the dualism of absence and presence, where a human imprint is felt in an ethereal space and light emerges from darkness.
The second series I have been working on are small imaginary deities painted on salvaged wood found around New Orleans. They are inspired by the spirituality and colorful nature of the crescent city, elements of medieval iconography, Russian nesting dolls, contemporary street art and American folk art. They are a release for me to make, a space to play with color and pattern. They are intended to bring good energy.
Alexandra Kilbrun is a New Orleans artist living and working in the French Quarter.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Oil Series: Layered, pensive, atmospheric
Acrylic Series: Playful, colorful, detailed.
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
I am constantly awestruck by the sky in New Orleans. It always feels so close, and the colors and clouds are shifting and spectacular. I am also always influenced by images and themes of water, which New Orleans has a significant history with; the water here represents both a support of life and a source of destruction, a yin and yang that is a frequent theme in my paintings. Life in general here in New Orleans is simply so colorful and wholeheartedly appreciative of the present moment, a feeling that is inspiring in and of itself.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
My ritual is in the layering. I apply the layers in a similar way on each piece. I paint very intuitively. I don't plan specifically what will happen, but I generally have an idea for color fields or draw from photographs or dreams I've documented.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I am inspired by ideas of mortality and transience, the visual qualities of shifting light, the ebb and flow and utter power of water, the delicacy of our existence made bearable by the strength of human connection, the layers of the earth and the fascinating mysteries of the deep ocean, ideas of what comes after life balanced with appreciation for the present, the power and fragility of memory with inevitable gaps and inventions, the incomprehensible vastness of the universe and our human depth and complication despite being so comparatively small. How much we have learned but how little we really know about the space we inhabit.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
J.M.W. Turner, James Turrell, Ambera Wellmann
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
Emmylou Harris' Wrecking Ball album. It was a childhood favorite and still strikes a specific emotional chord with me. It makes me think about memory. It has beautiful layers of sound, and her voice is so unique.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
Most likely riding my bike in the sun. It's my only mode of transportation but also one of my favorite things to do. I'll also be wandering with my beautiful Catahoula mutt Luna, or enjoying this pace of life with the people I love.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
Magic hour, or golden hour, is my favorite time of day, when the sun softens and warms but twilight hasn't quite hit yet. Everything has a radiant quality and it's just so beautiful. Sundays are my favorite days because they are so leisurely and celebratory, most especially in New Orleans. I love late spring, summer and early fall.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I have moved 11 times over the course of my life to different cities and countries, but New Orleans holds my heart in a way that feels more permanent. I love to travel but the feeling of finding a home base for the foreseeable future is truly special. I smile uncontrollably whenever I land at Louis Armstrong Airport.
To send me a message
you must log in or
Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
Little Flea NOLA - Sophie B. Wright Place
The Foundation Gallery - 1109 Royal Street
Occasionally my work can be found at Graphite Gallery.
My studio is also always available for visit and is located in the French Quarter. Please login and send me a private message for a studio visit.