Alice Mizrachi: So Much More Than Meets The Eye
Nicole Gordon: Alice, I have been a fan of yours for many years. How I love the women you paint! What inspires you to use women as your main subject matter?
Alice Mizrachi: I use women as my main subject matter because most of my work is about me and my identity. I see the world through the lens of a woman so I easily gravitate towards depicting the female form. I’m really interested in dissecting my experience while also blurring the lines by creating androgynous characters as I see myself possessing both masculine and feminine energies.
NG: What social statements are being made through your work?
AM: I seek to spark human interactive experiences through the gaze of my figures. I enjoy evoking emotions in a thoughtful manner through their expression. When looking at my work you can feel an array of emotions. By doing this I’m inviting the viewer into my mind while also encouraging others to share their story. I often convey positive, reflective experiences so as to free myself from any negative vibrations that come my way. These stories often include love, freedom, equality, fondness, encouragement, peace and dreams for the tomorrow I'd like to see. It’s my way of co-creating with the universe of what I want more of in this world. I also enjoy making art with found materials. I like the idea of reusing things that are considered trash and making them live a new life. Growing up in my house my parents were big on fixing things that broke or reusing them for something else.
NG: How has being an educator influenced your style and/or subject matter?
AM: Being an educator has influenced by subject matter profoundly. Working with people to create art gives me clear observational insight to peoples experiences. Sometimes these students show up in the characters I paint. I discover so much about myself by being in a classroom setting. It reminds me to continue working from an intuitive space of discovery and curiosity.
NG: Being that you have mastered so many mediums, which are your favorites to use?
AM: I’ve been blessed to study many different processes. I enjoy exploring so I like to mix some of these traditional processes and discover new techniques. I look for ways to push myself with mixing mediums. A thread I keep coming back to in my work is assemblage. I like scavenging for materials and creating art that is both sculptural and experiential.
NG: If you could collaborate with ANY artist, who would it be with and why?
AM: I would collaborate with Marisol- she is one of my favorite artists that pushed what was expected of her. She didn’t need validation to make incredible work and kept her work fresh based on her aesthetic. A real confident innovator and ahead of her time in so many ways. I admire that. There are a few others but she comes to mind first.
AM: Graffiti Gardens is a collaborative arts space recently built in Miami. In an effort to create more green arts space that honor artists from both New York and Miami, the garden curated the space with prominent NY graffiti artists and muralists. The space is curated by Carlos Mare and Erni Vales with an intention to highlight beautiful works of art by select artists that are part of their community.
I feel honored to be contributing to the space since I love working with my friends and enjoy building spaces that provide more communal places. The Graffiti Gardens puts 36th Street on the map of progressive arts space in the Wynwood arts district. Graffiti gardens will host free programming in 2018 and has already began yoga and Zumba classes. Go check it out!
NG: What is next for you?
AM: I just completed an assemblage Mural in Miami and I have a few murals lined up in the next few months. One is with Downtown Hollywood Mural project, another with a school in Worcester, MA and then I’m off to a month long residency with Dar Slimane in Marrakech. I’m also preparing for a solo show at The Andrew Freedman Home this Spring.
The mural below is of the Goddess Ma’at and she represents truth while harmonizing and balancing lands.
She is showcased in this mural alongside broken shards of mirror that were shattered and reassembled on a concrete wall. The mirror is symbolic of self reflection during a time where we feel broken, only to remember that we can now reassemble ourselves however we like. The rays of light emanate from Goddess Ma’at to remind us of the beauty we posses when we take our brokenness and put it back together to create a new version of self and the world we create. The scars remain but the beauty of healing the wounds make space for our evolution.
NG: Where can our readers learn more about both you and your work?