Clockwise from left: Ineffable beast, acrylic, pencil, ink and paper on MDF, 165 x 122 cm Cowboy, acrylic, aerosol on steel, 117 x 138 cm The spiral, steel, poly(methyl methacrylate), vinyl, plastic, paper, gumballs, 115 x 40 x 40 cm
Alexander MacKellar’s multidisciplinary practice examines class and identity politics in contemporary culture through the lens of personal trauma. He has been working in relation to contemporary Western tattoo culture as an aesthetic system of symbolic value. His affinity for tattooing and tattoo culture stems from a love of bold figurative imagery but is also significant for him in terms of its ability to symbolically communicate ambivalent ideas and ineffable experiences. In referencing tattoo imagery in the work, Alexander frequently draws upon personal narratives and investigates class-specific references. For Alexander, this use of subcultural visual language explores themes and ideas in layered ways that can act to intentionally obscure the deeply personal core of the practice.