July 19, 2019

Vikky Alexander in Galleries West


John Thomson
Galleries West

Artist examines links between advertising, design and desire.


Vikky Alexander has long been obsessed with consumerism’s imagery. The Vancouver Art Gallery’s retrospective of her photographs, collages and installations, Extreme Beauty, on view until Jan. 26, begins by exploring her early interest in appropriated images and their display.

In Obsession, for instance, Alexander offers 10 different views of supermodel Christie Brinkley. Back in the day, Brinkley’s image sold everything from cosmetics to milk.

Other celebrity images, clipped from magazines and cropped to remove advertising copy, are encased in black reflective boxes so viewers can see themselves as well. The mirrored image is a recurring device and figures prominently in Alexander’s desire to separate reality from the world of consumerism.

Later in her career, she visited the world’s capitals and took her own pictures. Paris Showrooms: Gold Torso focuses on gleaming furniture as seen in a window display. But look more closely and you’ll see reflections of the street.

“I want the outside to come in so that you see the ideal thing, but then what’s reflected is what’s going on in the real world,” says Alexander, who was based in Vancouver from 1992 to 2015, but now lives in Montreal.

To read the entire article, please click here.

Vikky Alexander: Extreme Beauty is on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery from July 6, 2019 to Jan. 26, 2020.

Image Credit:

Paris Showrooms: Gold Torso, 2009
inkjet print on metallic paper
30″ x 40″
National Bank Art Collection