* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Alexis Childress is an Atlanta based photographer and mixed media artist born and raised Illinois, relocating to Georgia in 2013. Inspired by Afrofuturism, her work manifests as visual interpretations of her experiences growing up as a black woman in the rural Midwest, confronted with racial tensions and generational oppression; using technology to examine race, culture, social transition, and self-identity. She received her BFA from Georgia State University.
Alexis explains her work by saying, “Deriving inspiration from Afrofuturism, I create surreal, digitally created compositions that use technology to explore the meanings of race, culture, and autobiography. Being raised in a majority white Midwestern community, I was exposed to a bland, biased explanation of African American culture, history and societal allowances, confused about the black and white spaces in my life. My use of digital manipulation imitates the cultural manipulation I endured growing up in the Midwest, channeling technology as a medium for the visual representation of lived experience. By constructing combinations of photographs, digital marks and found imagery, I represent the strategically designed, fabricated culture of black people that was presented to me while examining and critiquing my own black history and the black experience in America. Integrating digitally created shapes into my compositions allows me to visually replicate the power structures that exist within and dictate Midwestern social systems as well as racially oppressive systems throughout the country. Through digitally transferred paint drips and smears, I symbolize the confusion and suspicions I have of what is inside of me and who I am, caused by propinquity to a non-inclusive environment that influenced my self-perception and instilled a distrust within myself. In addition, the photographic exploration of the pockets, curves and shapes of my body, provide me the power to rediscover my own blackness. Creating parallels between the body passed to me through generations and the true history of black people. Ultimately, allowing technology to demonstrate my mental and physical navigation of racial identity, cultural history and lived experience. Creating final compositions that are structured and designed, yet hold meaning and information within every mark.”