“Alexis’ name means defender and helper. That’s how I see and experience her. She’s equally tender and just, kind and lucid. Above all else, she’s legit. Alexis defends what she sees and the wisdom that guides her to that seeing. She offers her gifts of insight to help others align to their own destiny. Gifts of insight, by the way, that are no joke. So don’t come looking for sugar coated fluff. But do come looking for the straight goods given in love because that’s what she does, that’s who she is.”
- Chris Dierkes -
The threads of my 18+ year body of interdisciplinary, creative and artistic works come together around two stanzas of poetry from my own hand: “My vocation is possibility./My work is a renaissance of my self.” When I write an essay or a poem, or create a piece of artwork, my philosophy of my work is geared towards refining and reshaping both my analysis of my subject as well as my embodied experience of it. This is true even if the end product is meant to relay a specific opinion or message. Since 2016, the nature of the creative projects has slowly shifted axes from catharsis to joy. Rather than highlighting the tragedy of my subjects (including myself), or engaging in a dissection of their tragedy without resolution, my work now focuses on applying this clarifying and transmutative dynamic to envisioning the future by affirming pleasure, peace, and embodied awareness.
My visual art is primarily digital, focused on collage techniques and on replicating and mimicking natural mediums, and my preferred written genres are non-fiction and poetry. In both disciplines, I enjoy asking questions about the quality + nature of relationship, the nature of relating, the nature of space, and power dynamics. My writing style is heavily influenced by the precise lucidity of James Baldwin’s analysis of Black personhood within a national & international context, Audre Lorde’s fecund and luscious poetry as well as her concept of biomythography, and the theological and ethical threads woven into Octavia Butler’s Afrofuturist science fiction. In my visual art, my primary influences are Mickalene Thomas’ use of queer materials and queer imagery in her painting and collage, the surrealist, Indigenous qualities of Frida Kahlo’s works, the grounded but futurist qualities Jeff Manning vision, Basquiat’s movement and use of channelled, focus energy, and the organic vivacity of Wangechi Mutu’s sensual, supranatural collages. The qualities of relationship and space within the works of Lorna Simpson, Douglas Hale, and Krista Franklin challenge me to be more strategic, and I appreciate the use of color as a primary means of relating narrative by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Amy Sherald. I also look to Coptic and Neocoptic art, abstract expressionism, Mexican Milagros charms, the Artibonite & Centre d’Art d'Haïti schools of Haitian art, as well as folklore and mythology when I work.
By capitalising on the digital mediums and tools available to me, I take my process one step further, allowing me to bring my work directly to a wide variety of people via social media who might otherwise be overlooked or excluded by gatekeepers in my creative industries. This direct-to-audience delivery allows my creativity to exist not purely as a product for profitable consumption, but as a means of engaging and shaping public discourse and culture-building. The result is that my viewership is able to undergo the same catalysing, perspective-shifting experience through my creative products, regardless of their affinity for me as a person or for my aesthetic.
Both the process and the end result are dialogue, be it internal or external, with the hope that said dialogue will strengthen and liberate our relationships, increase the possibilities we are making space for, and lead to a deeper insight into the nature of people, including one’s self, and empathy for their existence.
“God is Change
And hidden within Change
Is surprise, delight,
Opportunity, and growth.
And to be shaped.”
- Octavia Butler, The Book of the Living -