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Alexandra Nechita    

Alexandra Nechita

BY MEADOWLARK MONAGHAN & SOPHIA EGRARI

HI ALEXANDRA! HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY?

Today is a good day!

TO START OFF BROADLY, TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK AS AN ARTIST AND HOW MENTAL HEALTH HAS PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR JOURNEY.

I began my journey as an artist when I was a child. I don’t know that I understood then the direct connection between my well being and the innate need to express myself. It’s through the inevitable maze of adolescence, one that already comes with its own challenges, that I saw clearly the invisible string linking my mental and emotional health to the creative endeavor. Now as an adult, it is my ultimate safe zone, the place I am most me is when I am making work.

WERE THERE ANY PARTICULAR HURDLES THAT YOU HAD TO FACE, ESPECIALLY AS AN INDEPENDENT FEMALE ARTIST, THAT YOU HAD TO OVERCOME TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? IF SO, HOW DID THIS IMPACT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?

I think one of the many silver linings of me creating at such a young age is that I was so very protected by my parents who made it their priority to see through that I never felt forced or that I was never in the direct crossfire of certain negativity. As an adult I have surely felt things like guilt for my early age success and that has at times transformed into feelings of inadequacies.

EVEN AT FIRST GLANCE, YOUR ART IS DEEPLY EMOTIONALLY EVOCATIVE. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? HOW HAS THIS CHANGED OVER TIME?

Everything I make is a direct extension of whatever is happening internally for me... be it self inflicted chaos or external stimuli. I expose myself in the most vulnerable of ways in my work. I see myself as a storyteller. Narratives evolve in time.

HOW HAS QUARANTINE AFFECTED YOUR ART-MAKING PROCESS? DOES STAYING HOME CATALYZE A MORE PRODUCTIVE ATMOSPHERE FOR YOU OR DO YOU DRAW ON OUTSIDE EXPERIENCES FOR INSPIRATION?

I absolutely crave outside experiences when it comes to all aspects of my life and recognize how imperative those experiences are to my personal growth and how they shape the lens through which I make my work.

However, I do think quarantine could have been one of the best times for a creative spurt if I wasn’t trying to manage my 5 year old at home all day everyday. Instead, I’ve had to really work hard to carve out the time and dedicate myself to nurturing my practice even in such uncertain and weird times.

YOU'VE BEEN A BIG ADVOCATE FOR ART AS A MODE OF COMMUNICATION AND EXPRESSION - BOTH OF WHICH ARE CENTRAL COMPONENTS IN UPKEEPING OUR MENTAL HEALTH. DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS PERSPECTIVE HAS BENEFITTED YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?

Nothing is more cathartic to me than art making. I cannot imagine not having art as an outlet to unload. It’s as if I’d be moving through life holding my breath. My craft is the ultimate remedy. I hope to continue the dialogue around mental health awareness through the arts and help promote the invaluable gift of the arts to all.

EVEN WHEN YOU ARE PASSIONATELY IN LOVE WITH YOUR JOB, WORK CAN BE STRESSFUL. WHAT ARE YOUR COPING MECHANISMS TO EASE YOUR SRESS IN TOUGH TIMES?

This is such a true statement! When I was younger it was a lot harder for me to not feel suffocated when I was overwhelmed. As I’ve gotten older I try to use those moments as a chance to reevaluate my tendencies and how I respond. I try to break the habits I had of dealing with stress and sit so deeply in a cozy chair of gratitude for who I am and where I am at.

LASTLY, LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE, WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AND THE ART WORLD IN 10 YEARS? WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO SEE CHANGE OR CONTINUE TO GROW IN THE INDUSTRY?

I’ll be out here paining and making shit no matter where the art world is at. But I do hope to see the industry break free of a lot of the models that have been in place too long and really reshape the so-called artist vs gallery/ dealer hierarchy. I’d love to see a return to real tactile painting and not just a celebration of hype art. I want to see more female artists. I would love to know art schools are implementing and requiring business guidance the same way they are art theory.

And lastly, I hope to take a central role in the art experience as a whole and help democratize it, be it through art therapy, art education, and or public art. I dream for more art with purpose and meaning, more authentic art, more authentic artists.

SPEED ROUND

FAVORITE QUARANTINE ACTIVITY?

Longer and slower mornings with my Tevva

IF YOU COULD GIFT EVERYONE IN THE WORLD ONE BOOK, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

This might be the most difficult question I have ever been asked. There are so many pieces of literature that have played a formative role in my life.

Off the top of my head, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

LAST MEAL YOU COOKED AT HOME?

Grilled peaches and burrata

ADMIT A GUILTY PLEASURE.

90 Day Fiancé

LAST THING YOU SAID YES TO?

A glass of wine

LAST THING YOU SAID NO TO?

Pizza 😭