Alec DeMarco

"The Beast and the Boy"

17.05.2024 – 21.06.2024

In collaboration with Corridor Contemporary (Tel Aviv) and Galerie Enrico Navarra, we showcase an exhibition of the American artist Alec DeMarco, featuring a selection of works on canvas and on paper created between 2022 and 2023.

Born in 1989 in the state of Washington in the USA, Alec DeMarco grows up in a small hunting/fishing village where it rains all year long. DeMarco passes time by consuming everything he can read or watch. During his late teenage years, he goes through difficult times, as his best friend commits suicide and himself suffers a heart attack and almost dies. These experiences with death help fuel his desire to find a real way to express himself – and art was the perfect fit. He explores various forms of artistic expression, from folk art to graffiti adorning the train cars in his village’s factories and refineries, to illustrations for medieval books. He is quickly bored by all subjects for which there is an existing answer or guide. “Art is the only thing that can hold my attention.”

In 2012, after starting studies in fine arts in Southern California, he leaves everything behind to start a formal apprenticeship with a renowned Japanese tattoo master, a transformative experience that introduced him to brush calligraphy.

DeMarco defines his creative approach as “a constant battle between my conscious brain trying to define things and my subconscious fighting to stay abstract.”

Living with aphantasia, a neurological condition which means he has zero ability to visualize anything mentally, “envisioning what a painting will be before I actually make it is literally impossible” for him, this is probably the reason for his fast, intuitive execution process.

At the start, there is always a sketch of the work, resulting from a mixture of ideas prompted by music, films, people close to him, events from his past, etc… Then he lets himself be guided unconsciously. “When I am really painting, I basically just get into a flow and my mind and body go numb, my hand and arm move like they have a mind of their own.” After a while, he becomes aware of the work he has just done and decides to delete certain parts… develop others. “I just let everything flow, turn music loud and let my mind be as free as a leaf on a stream just along for the ride […] and before I know it the painting is finished.”