Technically, Alexis Silk is pushing boundaries. Her figures are all sculpted entirely free-hand while the glass is hot on the blowpipe.
Aesthetically and conceptually, the source of Alexis’ inspiration is all around her. “The human figure in its many forms is a window on and connection to our humanity (and our divinity). The tension and interdependence of society and the individual is the milieu within which we live. There is always ambiguity. Power, for example, can be expressed as ugly, demeaning and objectifying, or it can be beautiful, strong and joyful.”
Alexis enjoys playing with a tension of opposites: classical/modern, fragile/strong, funny/serious. But in the end, her work is always about people, our intentions toward each other and our relationship to nature, society, and industry. Though the ideas she expresses vary, with emotions ranging from anger to whimsy to love, the pieces consistently seem to evoke strong reactions.
In her hanging figure series she addresses objectification of the body by hanging glass torsos on industrial steel hooks. The glass simultaneously appears like skin and evokes a sense of something superficially applied, like a garment. Cast iron “meat” hooks are a visceral comment on exploitation of the body. Steel frames represent the conceptual boxes of perception within which society confines us.
Her winged figure series was originally inspired by techniques she learned while living and working in Murano, Italy, and by the rich classical and religious influences that permeate Italian culture. Conceptually however the series has come to exist because of personal changes in her life. “I’ve fallen in love and it feels like growing wings.” The whole expression of the pieces, from form to color palette to decoration reflect joy and strength. These pieces reflect her personal growth; “it feels like learning to fly.”
Alexis is currently splitting her time working between Murano, Italy, and the United States. Her work is included in museums, galleries and private collections throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia and the Far East.