Alex Sheriff - Parsons Fine Arts

Canada, 1988

Diorama Process Photo

Diorama Process Photo

"Museum of Droopy History Flyer," 2016 Gouache on paper, 8.5"x5.5"

"Hunting and the Birds," 2016 Acrylic on canvas, 60"x72"

"Hunting," 2015 single channel animated video, 1:00 minute"

Artist Statement

Through my work, I create new worlds that acknowledge Earth’s entering of the Anthropocene and renegotiate our position as humans in respect to all other matter of our planet and Universe. Living in the realms of pseudo-science and mythology, these new worlds draw from our own natural world and often materialize as thick jungles, ocean bottoms, deep space, and other settings unexplored by humans, where there still exists the potential for new ways of being. My work dismantles hierarchies humans have created for the natural world. Some examples being the hierarchy that runs alongside evolution, the ones prescribed by religions and the hierarchy between living, dead and non-living things. The work often depicts animals, plants, people, geology, and then blends these categories in strange narratives.
These worlds where all matter is equal are often expressed through the language of abstraction. The inhabitants and their surroundings, often as malleable as wet paint, cannot exactly be described by science though one feels an urge to categorize and name them. There is an illustrative, personal and playful hand in the work, present in painting, drawing, animation and 3-dimensional forms. To truly see from the perspective of another species or other matter is a naïve notion and it is expressed shakily through a charming and obviously human lens. A bold, bright palette invites with whimsy and lands in a place that speaks to moral-teaching Saturday morning cartoons, elementary school textbooks, and general celebration. The imaginative and mythological nature of the work fills the gaps in the science. By covering the facts of our physical world and our present time in some mystery and fantasy I encourage viewers to grasp them in a new way.

Artist Bio

Alex Sheriff is a Canadian artist and filmmaker. He graduated with a BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University before moving to New York City. Alex works in painting, drawing, sculpture and film. His work deals with mythologies, biology, and natural histories with a focus on evolution and extinction. Using whimsical narratives portrayed in inviting pastel palettes, Alex proposes alternative realities to the human-centric hierarchies we live comfortably in. He challenges our position as human beings in relation to all species and all matter.