We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra DeBenedictis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” ― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth Joseph Campbell has influenced my work and the process in which I experience life. Though there are many quotes that I love from him, this quote in particular gets me moving. I believe that people tend to go through the monotony of life without truly experiencing it, especially when we try to follow the social structure that was previously built for us. People aren’t actually alive, they are just living on this physical plane. They are not taking into account all the little things that create this much bigger picture, and appreciate life itself. I don’t believe that one person has one true meaning in life, we all have a purpose yes, but it is what you make it. If you decide to make every moment of your life, whether it be dull or the most thrilling and emotional, and make it into something worth telling the world about it you will feel alive. It’s about making every moment resonate with your being rather than letting it pass you by. It is important to me to take in every experience, moment and breath into consideration because it is writing my story. We all live these idiosyncratic lives, all made up of extravagant meta-narratives. And in turn they are all woven together making an intricate pattern of the universe. So it is vital to each and every one of us to not only seek the experience of living, but truly being alive, and not another fractal on this physical plane. This is how I create, and how I go about life. I create in a way that has no boundaries and this provides a space for a true experience of letting go and letting in. I let go standards of what others have put upon me. I let go wanting to be perfection. I let go of the pressure of creating. And I let in the flow of emotion and subjective thoughts. I let in the mistakes and the reality of conception. I let the work determine where it goes even as I plan it all out. The creating is an experience on its own. Every on of my pieces possess their own mythology conceived by an amalgamation of all my subjective experiences in life. We create our own mythology everyday as we go through life. Meaning, everything we partake in is unique, and it’s up to us to create our narrative. Every experience is a kaleidoscope of wonder and I choose to live and create in a way that makes me truly alive mentally, physically, spiritually, and momentarily so my life on this physical plane is as magical as my subjective inner self is.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I would consider myself a multimedia artist in that I create in all different mediums. My main focus is drawing and painting, but as of late I have been creating immersive experiences, but I also create books, sculptures, illustrations and much more. I try to create everyday, and experience as many mediums as I can. My work often has a lot going on, and isn’t one medium. My personal work tends to be loud, brightly colored, sparkly, bold and usually house humorous vulgarity. With that being said it has been difficult find my niche as my work is not your typical home decor. Because my work is rather obnoxious at times, it was hard to find galleries or people to support my work. This was until I took part in an internship with the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Englewood , CO where I found my people. I found those who create like me and we cofounded our collective, PussayHaus. Currently I am creating more works with PussayHaus, and we focus on immersive experience that transforms normal spaces into excessive personal experiences. We work together collaboratively to stimulate every sense of the body as a person walks through. Both my personal and collaborative work focus heavily on the woman’s body, equality and power. It is important to me to showcase just how powerful women are, and even though we are powerful we are also delicate. In my years of being an artist I have learned that often times there are restrictions on what people want to see. And there are times I allow myself to stay within those restrictions, but more often than not I push the boundaries of what makes people comfortable. I believe that art is supposed to challenge a viewer, and make them think of societal boxes that are meant to be broken. My art may be colorful, and may look light hearted at times, but many times they are criticisms on society, and are produced through personal experiences of my life. I want my work lure an audience in and once there guide them to an understanding of the depth within the piece. Last year I lead a group of artists to create public murals supporting Black Lives Matter as a memorial, and a visual representation of people of color who have been killed due to police brutality. It is overwhelming and its these kinds of community works I want to pursue this next year. I plan on continuing to challenge my viewers, and do it on large scales. I am really excited for this next year, last year was a challenge but there are many things brewing for this year. I am working on a multitude of projects, and I am pumped for the outcome! I am focused on expanding my horizons to work more on graphic designs and logos for clients, a few coloring books as well as working on my personal growth as an artist.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite spots to check out in Denver just recently closed, Casa Bonita. This place was a true treasure, terrible food, but one of the most unique experiences one will ever have. But, even though it is gone, there are still so many things to check out in Denver. Catching a show at Red Rocks is an absolute must. It is one of the most beautiful and spiritual concert venues in the United States, and there is nothing better than live music with your friends. The RhiNo art district is a great place to get some beer from the many breweries downtown, and then walk around and see all the murals from local artists, pet all the dogs and listen to music. I have even seen people sumo wrestling down there! I would visit the Meadowlark Bar, the RhiNo Beer Garden among others. I would also go to one of my favorite coffee shops Stellas! They have amazing teas and coffees and one of the most inviting little houses to enjoy a drink. Its always a must to do Sante Fe on Art Fridays, for the amazing art, the great food trucks and all the amazing shops, and then head down Broadway to other smaller art galleries such as Spectra Art Space. There are so many great parks to go to and just enjoy the day, but the best park to enjoy at night is Cheeseman to tell ghost stories. D Bar off 19th is my favorite place to get some chocolate cake that is mouth watering while my favorite ice cream is at Bonnie Brae. I like to catch live Jazz at Dazzle, and enjoy pizza at Atomic Cowboy and some vegan meals at City O’ City. And just outside of the city, it is fundamental to go to the mountains. Taking a hike, skiing, snowboarding, or just driving to see the colors. One of my favorite places to go is to Conifer and hike through the mountains and just be. There is just so much to explore!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to say thank you to my parents for ALWAYS allowing me to be myself, and follow my passions. They never pushed me to do anything other than to be myself and to be happy. They showed me what strength, perseverance and determination were and and most importantly unconditional love and I would not be where I am today without them. I would also like to say thank you to all my art peers in and out of school, especially my collective PussayHaus. They all pushed me to be better and do better for the community and for myself. I owe myself a lot to the people around me who have supported me through all the years, and bought art, inspired me to continue creating and making! There are so many people, and I wish I could name all of them. Also, thank you to Meagan for providing this opportunity be have the shoutout.