The human face tells endless stories. Love and loss, redemption and regret - a portrait captures them all. But faces can deceive as well, and may not be quite what they seem. With this in mind, we are pleased to present To Die For, a solo exhibition by Alexandra Drawbridge.
Alexandra’s close-cropped female portraits have an almost ethereal glow. With surface textures smooth as satin and not a blemish on the skin, they could be the fleeting visions of spirits or saints rapt in ecstasy. But the source of Alexandra’s images brings an unexpected twist. These alluring images are actually murder victims in popular TV crime dramas, snatched from the transient broadcasting ether and turned into something tangible, permanent and real. Beautiful and idealised, but also sinister and haunting, the effect is delightfully misleading.
Alexandra uses these works to play with the boundaries where different emotions blend into one other. On the one hand there is something rhapsodic about these portraits gazing into the void. But their underlying stories make them unnerving, as if attraction in this context is taboo. Even though they make no secret that are a fiction, they still retain something of tragedy, effective even beyond the wave. And so they attract and repel, and keep the viewer looking regardless. It is this canny play with desire and self-correction that makes Alexandra’s portraits so exciting.
Born in 1970, Alexandra studied BA Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art (2001) and MA Digital Arts at Camberwell (2007). She has exhibited at the Studio of the De La Warr Pavilion, the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, and Schwartz Gallery in Hackney Wick.