Habitat is a weekly series that visits with artists in their workspaces.
This week’s studio: Alex Dodge; East Williamsburg, New York. Alex Dodge‘s work explores the relationship between humans and technology, and his studio is, fittingly, filled with both analog and digital tools—3-D scanners and computers with animation software, but also oil paint and traditional hand-cut stencils. “On one hand, I love materials,” he told me. “I love to paint and I love very historical processes. But on the other hand, I have this real desire to understand how to reconcile the digital and the physical.”
The Colorado-born, Brooklyn-based artist, 38, received his B.F.A. from RISD and then enrolled in the Interactive Telecommunications program at NYU, where he learned about coding and electronics, among other things. He is interested, he said, in how technology creates a “digital overlay on top of our experience.” Gesturing toward a series of graphic canvases depicting patterned fabric atop a plastic skull, he said, “The pattern is distorted around the object, and in a way I like to think about the pattern like a digital system—a repetitive system that’s sort of agnostic to everything around it.”
Dodge is at work on a series of paintings using a figure he constructed that resembles a sock puppet. The series is also somewhat inspired by Ridley Scott’s Alien.”The Alien film has always been intriguing for me, in terms of what the alien represented,” Dodge said, noting that Scott took inspiration from Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion.
Dodge is currently preparing for a solo show in April at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery and has a three-month fellowship in Japan later in 2016. This will be Dodge’s 20th trip to the country. “I’m going to be working with traditional Japanese carpenters who build shrines and temples.” said Dodge. Below, he shows us around his studio.
ALL PHOTOS: KATHERINE MCMAHON