Typically working in oil on canvas, Alex Gross' work exhibits an abiding interest in pop culture and the passage of time. It is in the mixed media portion of Gross’s portfolio where the synergy between these two truly comes alive and pops in fun, thrilling ways.
Pixar: Mr. Incredible
In Gross’s mixed media work, he combines his skills as a painter with antique photographs that he has acquired and transformed into iconic figures throughout pop culture. His presentation of the work allows you to see the transformation from past to future, from ho hum old-timey civilian to modern day hero or villain. He presents the work as it was, the aforementioned, authentically sepia toned antique photo while opposite it is the fully colored, fully morphed original work.
The range of characters is plentiful with the dozens of works in this series and they’re all fun to look at. Upon close inspection, the viewer can see how Gross took the appearance of the original photo’s subject as the inspiration for who they become in the pop culture future. One of my favorites is Bloody Wolverine. On the left is an antique photo of a rectangular headed, mutton chop adorned man with psychopath eyes. He looks like a nineteenth century, clean-cut Wolverine trying to blend in among society. After Gross has turned his brush upon the photo, we’re treated to those same psychopath eyes set in a blood-spattered face as Wolverine stands before us in his classic yellow uniform, blood running down his claws after a kill, stopping to pose for a photo. It’s a fantastic painting of Wolverine as all of his figures (Daredevil, 60’s batman, Harley Quinn, Arya Stark, the list goes on and on) are of their respective characters but it’s also both interesting and hilarious to actually have a picture of a real person in the past, in front of you, when you’re thinking about what it’d be like to have people from the past dressed up like we are now. The heightening of that thought trail to super hero costumes makes the trip down that much more fun. Don’t miss it!
Marvel: The Black Panther
Game of Throne: Arya Stark
The Simpsons: Marge Simpson
Star Trek: Picard
Marvel: Winter Soldier (Captain America)
Starwars: Darth Vader and Family