The Stranger: Alex Merritt at Booth Gallery

The Stranger: Alex Merritt at Booth Gallery

In anticipation of 'The Stranger', Alex Merritt's solo show with Booth Gallery, the painter shared a few thoughts with us.

TONIGHT: Friday, May 17, 2019

6PM-9PM at Booth Gallery: The Stranger - Alex Merritt Solo Show

Haunting and evocative, the smudges of color and thick encrusted layers of Alex Merritt's paintings hint at desolation; ethereal portraits and barren landscapes each made with an amaranthine depth. And though the human forms may be abstract, the emotive capabilities of his work are exact. The guttural screams, grunts of agony and whispers of abject despair are perfectly depicted in an Auerbachian mania of oil chunks and charcoal scratches. 

Booth Gallery and Last Rites Gallery have been spaces where art transcends any particular medium and becomes a lifestyle itself. Paul Booth is known for his exceptional talent to curate a dark mood, an atmosphere of waldeinsamkeit, by uniting a myriad of forms. This recent solo show is no different. 

In anticipation of the opening tonight, Alex was kind enough to expound a bit more on his artwork. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you get into painting?

I was born in Washington,DC. My grandfather was a painter , but I never got to meet him- however I knew him through some of his paintings and a lot of stories about him. So from a very early age I knew I wanted to be a painter, like he was. However due to a variety of reasons I did not actually start until I was about thirty. One day I went to the Hirshorn Museum and the National Gallery in DC, after badly injuring my back at work. I remember I walked into a room at the Hirshorn that was full of paintings, Rothko, Bacon, Dekooning, Warhol, etc- and I remembered thinking, I am going to be a painter. I started soon after, initially working with spray paint on these open (legal) walls in DC. I haven't gone a day without since.

Join the biggest tattoo community!
Help me find a tattoo artist.
They are a great group of people, artists themselves, so they really value the artists they work with...

How did you get involved with Booth Gallery, and what has the experience been like so far?

Initially it was a studio visit with Paul and Tabitha Booth, they were looking for locations to shoot a video. Not long after Michael Ruple came and picked out some work for a group show. It has been an amazing ride ever since. They are a great group of people, artists themselves, so they really value the artists they work with as more than just a business relationship.

Have you ever been tattooed? 

So when I was younger I almost got tattooed, but found out I have a weird skin allergy that would flare up if I were tattooed. It was kind of a bummer, especially since at the time I was really into skateboarding, and getting tattooed was essentially like a rite of passage..

Work really hard, either do it or don't do it. Be true to yourself, and if you find yourself feeling comfortable you aren't doing it right.

Who inspires your artwork? What artists, musicians, writers, and the like are your heroes?

I have a long list of painters whom I love. Some of my favorites are Chaim Soutine, Frank Auerbach, Joan Mitchel, DeKooning, Antonio Mancini, Joan Eardley, I could go on forever..Certain paintings too like Goyas Black Paintings, Riberas "Ixion", and Picassos Guernica... I listen to a fairly wide range of music when I paint from Run the Jewels to Wagner.. Lots of movie scores, and old Blues stuff like Muddy Waters, Freddie King etc. It all depends on the pace and mood of things. I read a lot of history, lots of books on painters, and political/ philosophical stuff.

As a working artist, what is your best advice you can give to others?

Work really hard, either do it or don't do it. Be true to yourself, and if you find yourself feeling comfortable you aren't doing it right.

Can you tell us a bit about the upcoming solo show?

So the show is comprised of around twenty new paintings ranging from very large format to small .. some of them might still be a little wet, so if you are wearing nice clothes just be careful..

Find artists in top cities

CookiesThis site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Read our privacy policy to learn more