Smoke and Mirrors

'The monuments are supposed to commemorate kings and religions, heroes, dogmas, but in the end, the man they commemorate is the builder.'

J. Bronowski, The Ascent of Man, 1974

Religious buildings are designed to lead us in, amplify our sense of experience and heighten belief. Giles Alexander’s paintings operate on the same principal as the structures they depict, drawing us in and urging us to go deeper into the architecture. 

The intricate detail in these glorious buildings tempts us to comprehend their execution. So too is our experience with Alexander’s exquisite paintings, which call us to follow the path to its end, to worship the humanist pursuits embodied in both the building and the painting. 

Journeying through fine layers of paint the viewer notices a deep, mirror-like resin veils the image. A paradox of space and surface arises through awareness both of infinite depth and the presence of one’s own reflection.

These are carefully considered and meticulously constructed images, and their faultless execution pays homage to the master masons and artisans of religious antiquity. Ultimately the work questions exactly what it is we are worshiping.

Guy Maestri 2009