Is that a person — or a painting?

[From HLN, where the story includes a 1:54 minute video; more pictures of the artist’s work are available on her web site and at Daily Geek Show]

Alexa Meade

Is that a person — or a painting?


  • Artist Alexa Meade brings paintings to life by painting directly on her subjects
  • Find out why her artwork went viral in ‘There’s No Business Like Small Business’

By Natalie Angley
Wed March 05, 2014

A California artist is turning people into paintings — literally.

Alexa Meade, 27, skips the canvas in her artwork. When she paints a portrait, she paints directly on the person and then photographs them.

“When you look at the final image it really looks like a painting,” she says. “But if you look closer, you’ll see there’s more there than meets the eye. There’s life coming through it.”

Meade didn’t start off as an artist. She studied politics.

“I’d always dreamed of being an artist but I was told it was not a career. It was a hobby,” she says. “At 22, I decided that I would pick this up and make it my job to teach myself how to paint.”

She got her big break after a blog post of her work went viral. This led to her sharing her story at TEDGlobal. Almost two million people have watched the video online.

“When I first started out, it was impossible to get people to model for me,” she says. “But now I have a waiting list of over a thousand people.”

If she hadn’t followed her passion, Meade says she’d be sitting at a desk on Capitol Hill.

“It’s always a risky thing to go for the improbable,” she says. “But there’s this saying that I really love that is ‘Without risking the ridiculous artists will never get anywhere beyond the pre-validated and mundane.’ And I chose to risk the ridiculous.”


One response to “Is that a person — or a painting?”

  1. Saliu Yu

    This is a very interesting example of how our body becomes the medium. Today we have screens everywhere, such as television screens, computer screens, and tablet screens. It is common for many people to sit before a computer and stare at the computer screen all day. It seems that today’s technology is only an extension of our brain but not of our body. I think there is more that we can get from the technology. The technological development in the future should also free our body from the tables and chairs. One way to do that is to let our body becomes the medium. Google glass is an example of freeing our body.

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