Human Body Paintings / Alexa Meade & Sheila Vand

Human's Body Paintings By Alexa Meade & Sheila Vand - 01
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 Human Body Paintings  

MILK: what will you make of me?

Alexa Meade and Sheila Vand have collaborated on a body of work that explores the fluidity of form in relation to time and space. By stripping the subject of depth and dimension, a displacement of identity ensues, demonstrating the power of context over content.

Meade’s signature style of painting portraits on the body is submerged in a canvas of milk, where Vand’s performance is dictated by the opposing forces of fixed shadows and fluid space. Together, the artists compose an expressive identity for each image, but as the milk interacts with the pre-arranged pose, a new identity is formed that must be constantly re-imagined and re-shaped in the moment. As the paint seeps away into the milk, Vand’s performance must continually shift to accommodate its new context and form while Meade’s photography must capture the ephemeral moments before they de-materialize. The result is an ever-evolving, time-based portrait that includes every layer of the process within each consecutive frame. Each new visual identity is a product of the versions that came before.

The surface of the milk intersects Vand’s body at an uneven and unusual plane, creating a sense of movement and depth beneath her compressed form. This play on dimensionality in the picture plane evokes an optical illusion that activates the viewer’s experience by challenging their common perceptions. The identifiable becomes ineffable, giving the flat photography of the painted three-dimensional space an unsettling tone. By blending the borders between the subject and its surroundings, identity is muted and we’re left with the distilled nuances that shape the space.

Alexa Meade & Sheila Vand

Alexa Meade and Sheila Vand first came together in March 2012 in the spirit of artistic playtime and collaborated on a range of concepts spanning diverse media. “MILK: what will you make of me?” is their first joint release. They exhibited a live performance and limited edition photographic prints from MILK at Galerie Ivo Kamm in Zurich, Switzerland in September 2012.

About Alexa Meade:

Alexa Meade has received international acclaim for inventing a technique for painting on the surfaces of objects, people, and architectural spaces so as to optically compress 3D space into a 2D plane.

Alexa has exhibited her art at The Saatchi Gallery in London, Postmasters Gallery in New York City, Galerie Ivo Kamm in Zurich, and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

Alexa has been featured on PBS, CNN,The London Telegraph, The Guardian, USA Today, Der Spiegel, The Washington Post, La Repubblica, NY Arts Magazine, American Contemporary Art Magazine, Art Info, Juxtapoz Magazine, Italian Elle Magazine, Slate Magazine, Wired Magazine, and Nylon Magazine.

About Sheila Vand:

Sheila Vand is an LA-based actor and performance artist whose work explores the malleability of perception through abstractions in form and context.

Her last piece Sneaky Nietzsche, a theatrical live music experiment, was a performance-based installation mounted at the LA County Museum of Art. It was described by the Los Angeles Times as “stepping into a living, changing art piece” and by the LA Weekly as an “all-encompassing, sensory overload. In a good way.”

Before that, Sheila mounted Portrait of the Architect in Ruins, a theatrical blend of film, dance, animation and water, at The Los Angeles Theatre Center.

Acting highlights include performing on Broadway alongside Robin Williams and starring in Ben Affleck’s ARGO.

Upcoming projects include Body Thoughts, a series of seven filmed self-portraits exploring the James-Lange theory on emotion and A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, an Iranian Vampire Western movie produced by Elijah Wood.


Name: Human Body Paintings
Type: Photography, Body Art, Nude art & Erotic art
Theme Colour: soft colours
Year: 2012
Technique: Photography of portraits painted directly on body while submerged in a pool of milk.

 The people  

Artist: Alexa Meade & Sheila Vand - Washington, DC, United States
Text Description: © Courtesy of Alexa Meade & Sheila Vand
Images: © Alexa Meade & Sheila Vand, David Branson

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 Human Body Paintings / Alexa Meade & Sheila Vand

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