Figurative/abstract art

Alex Russell has a long history of mixing abstract and figurative content in his work. In both art and design, he has always been interested in the moving backwards and forwards between the two. Alex’s long standing interest in pattern design has fed this, allowing him to combine representation and non-representation in endless ways.

As a creative coder, he develops methods of arranging large libraries of pre-prepared images into artworks. Alex is facinated by how the code creates unexpected outcomes. Working with abstract and figurative content provides a rich seam to mine. His code is written to be autonomous. Once some content has been added, what comes next responds to it. This might mean using more non-representational imagery if the existing content is figurative.

Another concept that Alex explores in his work is the tension of opposites – the interplay between chaos and order for example. Working with figurative and abstract imagery allows him to experiment with this idea in depth, sometimes intentionally blurring the two. This often involves playing the the spectrum between complex and simple. This might mean making very detailed areas out of very simple marks, ot arranging complex hand drawn imagery in enough space to allow it to breathe.

In Western fine art, the idea of abstract art is only about 120 years old. However, it has been a staple of pattern design from all over the world for thousands of years. With a background in print and pattern, Alex is naturally drawn to working with abstract content. Even when he is working with figurative content, he often puts it together in a very abstract way.

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