Alex Liros: statement
Alex Liros' Canadian art odyssey began in Ottawa, Ontario,
forty years ago when he first attended the Ottawa Municipal Art
Centre, a hands-on school where he took classes in drawing, painting
and sculpture. He also took anatomy at the university level.
In 1978 he ended up in Toronto, where his mother and her husband
were living. Toronto had a very lively art scene, as well as
an active, though beleaguered, gay community, which was encouraged
by the gains of the feminist and civil rights movements. In 1980
Alex and two artists organized a collective, called JAC, with
the idea of "documenting" the picnics, beaches, dances,
rallies of the gay community. JAC was very active for eight years,
showed widely and received grants to show their work and demonstrate
their collaborative method. They were multi-media artists, worked
on paper, on canvas, produced banners and installations. It was
a creative period for Alex.
And it was at a JAC opening in Chicago that Alex met an artist
who would become his life partner. They also began to work collaboratively
(wood, steel, paint), but also had several two-man shows of their
independent work. At this time Alex was painting on canvas and
working on wood constructions, based loosely on the biblical
King Saul. In the 1990s he began to observe, in paint and mixed
media on paper, objects in his studio: chairs, pots, TV, flowers.
And he began to look outside the studio and started cycling to
the north shore of Lake Ontario to paint, on small primed boards,
everything around him: beaches, water, surfers, picnics, trees,
cars. And when he would visit his brother Serge in Sargentville,
Maine, he would get some watercolours out and paint the view.
By the late 1990s he put aside his acrylics and started to work
on photo-based images pulled from the web. His interest was men
and technology, and his method was pen and ink with collage.
His last show, Pipelines 2, was at Gallery 1313 (an artist run
gallery) in June 2013.
Toronto, June 2014