Alexis Childress, Kids With Friends That Call Them Nigger, Digital Photographic Collage, 2019
Us and Mom at Bethel AME: Church of Black Refuge, Digital Photographic Collage, 2019
Deriving inspiration from Afrofuturism, I create surreal digitally created compositions that explore the meanings of race, culture and autobiography. Growing up in the Midwest prior to living in the South, I was exposed to a bland, misdirected explanation of African American culture and history, weaving between the black and white spaces in my life. By integrating digitally created shapes into my compositions, I am able to replicate the power structures that exist within Midwestern social systems as well as represent the strategically designed, fabricated history of Black people that was presented to me in that environment. This propinquity to a non-inclusive environment instilled a sense of unknowing and distrust within myself. Through drips of paint I give a sense that there is something within the photograph or subject that is leaking out, representing the suspicions I have of what is inside of me and who I really am. With smears and swirls of paint I represent feelings of obstruction and confusion. Using close up photographs of the pockets, curves and shapes of my body as the subject of each composition, I can create parallels between the body passed to me through generations and the true history of black people. Creating final compositions that are structured and designed yet hold meaning and information within every mark.
Alexis Childress is an Atlanta based photographer, attending Georgia State University where she is an anticipated BFA Photography graduate in Spring 2020. Alexis is originally from Illinois and moved to Atlanta over 5 years ago. Her current work explores her broad range of experiences from growing up in the Midwest to currently living in the South, touching on culture, afrofuturism, social transition and self-identity.