Artist Statement & Biography
What is real? asked the Velveteen Rabbit to the Skin Horse. This great question haunts Alexandre Da Silva Maia, a resin artist inspired by childhood memory and the magic of real and imagined nature. Through his work, Alexandre explores how painting captures depictions of the natural world which are both representational and ornamental, for example by using shiny, glossy materials like gold leaf and resin. Alexandre’s Floresta and Bunny series depict forest and rural settings with pleating, camouflaging colour effects and abstracted forms. The woods and farmhouses are familiar, though one cannot quite place them. They convey artificiality in the symmetry of the pleats and the merging of the the colours. Do these places exist outside of the imagination? Are they themselves, like the toy bunny of Margery Williams’ story, longing to be real? Quiet farmlands bordering woods connect with whimsical bunnies. Alexandre’s work continues to explore beauty in the movement between such spaces.
Alexandre Da Silva Maia moved to Canada from London, England, at the age of five. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he has held on to his Brazilian roots, mixed in with patchwork memories from a childhood spent in the English countryside and the Canadian Prairies.
Alexandre’s academic background was in English literature, for which he received his Master’s degree from McGill University. As a self-taught visual artist living in Toronto, he finds himself drawn to his favourite literary motifs as inspiration; many of these coloured his childhood and now inform his exploration between magical realism and abstraction.