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ALCHEMYALEX ECHO


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx cm X xx cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

ALCHEMY

“These new paintings are alchemy the transfiguration from an artists vision through pigment on canvas, to the private and sacred filter and imagination of the individual view - each person seeing exactly what their own life has allowed them to conjure in their hearts and minds” Alex TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx Echo cm X xx cm


ALEX ECHO

It was one very dark day in 2009, the world’s economy was in freefall, and so was I. Life challenged me from every possible angle, as the securities of love, family, health and wealth teetered on the edge. Faced with losing everything I had two choices: darkness or light. I chose the lighter path which found me with a paint pot in one hand and a wooden soup spoon in the other. That very day sparked the beginning of a journey, a journey into the self. I found myself stumbling and falling, groping and scratching my way along an artistic path; without correction, without knowledge, relying solely on the experience and sheer joy of creating each individual painting, design or idea. I had uncovered an unquenchable thirst for art again, art in its barest and purest form. My work is the connection to my inner self, my creation process is my life process - it is messy, it is accidental, it is studied, it is deliberate, it is searching and evolving - it is me. I have explored every possible form of art and looked to every possible inspiration, and yet this long process has always brought me back to nature, to beauty on the simplest plane. Mark Rothko once referred to colour as ‘merely an instrument’ and a tool with which to portray the depths of human emotion. I no longer have any desire to say anything with my work other than to project human emotion and to embody something of simple elemental beauty. My work transmutes bare and unrefined elements into something of splendour. My work confronts life, and manipulates and evolves to balance its inner disharmonies. On that very day in 2009 my role appeared to me; my role as an alchemist.


“Every good painter, paints what he is” Jackson Pollock

With every spill, stroke, drip and swirl, a myriad of colours form a composition; colour, line, gesture and form work harmoniously to culminate in a uniquely complex and compelling maze. These mazes are undeniably the work of American born painter Alex Echo, who, with an enviable reputation as one of the world’s greatest abstract painters, has distinguished his art from convention, tradition and the familiar. Imbued with personality, Echo’s creations form an extension of the self. There is an exquisite chaos to his work, with autonomy and chance guiding the fast paced creation of his canvases. His artistic process is both immediate and rehearsed, and this dichotomy between order and disarray permeates the surface of every canvas. Avoiding the restraints of convention Echo has honed a technique which not only emphasises the physical act of painting but calls upon the subconscious, connecting his inner self with the canvas on a far deeper level. Speaking of his creative process Echo is open to the fact that every piece conjures an inner battle and struggle within himself. Full of joy but never free from the pains of self doubt, Echo’s work draws upon the highs and lows of his life experiences. His paintings are a cacophony of emotions; at once beautiful and melancholic. Through the application of paint, his canvases play host to a ballet of light and colour, swirls and spills, as he seeks to form a harmonious balance. As a disciple of techniques practised by Rothko, Pollock and De Kooning, and growing up in 1950s America, the Abstract Expressionist movement has bestowed a great influence upon Echo. Transforming the canvas into an arena in which to act, his work echoes that very sentiment. This careful study of his predecessors extends beyond that of the Expressionists; his synthesis of the ideals of the Impressionists, the abstraction of the Minimalists and the psychological depths of the Conceptualists, has created a unique world which surrounds Echo’s work. When viewing Echo’s collection of new paintings, Alchemy, his journey is evident. In spite of its inevitable trials, Echo grasped life and celebrated it; here his art pays homage to this, and we are invited to view the spectacle. Glyn Washington


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

TRUE SPRING - TRUE SUMMER - TRUE AUTUMN - TRUE WINTER | MIXED MEDIA | 153 cm x 20 cm (each panel)


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

ON THE PERFECT COURSE | MIXED MEDIA | 228 cm x 29 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

THE CREATION OF COOL I,II,III,IV,& V | MIXED MEDIA | 38 cm x 38 cm (each panel)


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

“In truth, my source of education is whatever the last painting I painted was! I love the act of making a mark and each mark informs the next” Alex Echo


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

THE SECRET LIFE OF CHAMPAGNE I | MIXED MEDIA | 140 cm x 240 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

NEVER ASSUME I | MIXED MEDIA | 38 cm x 63 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

NEVER ASSUME II | MIXED MEDIA | 36 cm x 63 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

HYDE PARK TREETOPS EARLY MORNING | MIXED MEDIA | 155 cm x 122 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

TOO MUCH CHAMPAGNE POOLSIDE SOUTH OF FRANCE - DON'T FALL IN | MIXED MEDIA | 63 cm x 20 cm (each panel)


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

GRAND CANYON REFLECTING POOLS I | MIXED MEDIA | 67 cm x 67 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

GRAND CANYON REFLECTING POOLS II | MIXED MEDIA | 67 cm x 67 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

THE GAIA HYPOTHESIS | MIXED MEDIA | 193 cm x 308 cm (38 cm x 38 cm each panel)


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

“True Alchemy lies in this formula: 'Your memory and your senses are but nourishment of your creative impulse'.” Arthur Rimbaud, Illuminations

THE INFINITE EFFECT OF A GENTLE BREEZE ON A SPRINGTIME LAKE: WATER | MIXED MEDIA | 102 cm x 178 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

SPRING/SUMMER/WINTER/AUTUMN ONE| MIXED MEDIA | 102 cm x 102 cm (each panel)


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

“I owe a debt to the artists whom came before me and inspired me, they've allowed me to see a little further.” Alex Echo


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

THE SECRET LIFE OF CHAMPAGNE II | MIXED MEDIA | 140 cm x 280 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

SPRING ABSTRACTED | MIXED MEDIA | 152 cm x 40 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

AUTUMN ABSTRACTED | MIXED MEDIA | 152 cm x 40 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

DAYDREAM BELIEVER | MIXED MEDIA | 38 cm x 38 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

“Whether he is creating a simple watercolour with minimal lines or a complex painting of many layers his work is beautiful and compelling. Every time I look at a work by Alex I feel transported to a better place.” Lee White [Attorney - CHRISTIES Auction House] NYC

CHANEL No. 1 | MIXED MEDIA | 38 cm x 38 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

SPRING/SUMMER/AUTUMN/WINTER SKY | MIXED MEDIA | 153 cm x 101 cm (each panel)


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

ENTRY | MIXED MEDIA | 153 cm x 101 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

THE SECRET LIFE OF CHAMPAGNE III | MIXED MEDIA | 180 cm x 240 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

A BREAK IN THE STORM | MIXED MEDIA | 152 cm x 102 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

THE TRANSITION | MIXED MEDIA | 152 cm x 112 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

YIN-YANG: AIR | MIXED MEDIA | 102 cm x 178 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

“Alex Echo works on the threshold of pure light, brilliantly articulating the powerful energies that lie beneath the collective consciousness” Dr. Donna Gaines, [PhD., Sociologist, Author, Writer for Rolling Stone Magazine & The Village Voice]

EARTH ALONG AN ENGLISH COUNTRY ROAD | MIXED MEDIA | 101 cm x 178 cm


WATERLOO SUNSET I had always envisaged that the show would be laid out as a cathedral, my paintings forming the stained glass windows, culminating in one large piece at the far wall of the gallery. With this in mind I ordered twelve large panels, each being seven feet tall, with the vision that these pieces would form my final show composition for Alchemy. I intended to paint them first, but I was met with an almighty creative block as the panels sat for month after month taunting me. Finished works built up around them as preparation for the exhibition continued, but I still found no point of departure for my final composition. They say inspiration comes when you least expect it, and my inspiration for this piece did exactly that. From a song on the radio, to a scribbled down lyric that I pasted to my studio wall, the words ‘Waterloo Sunset’ stayed with me. It was one sleepless night in a hospital bed after undergoing extensive knee surgery that I found myself listening to this song over and over again. Over and over it played and with each rendition from each differing artist I discovered more depths to this love song to London and The Thames. I then saw my opportunity to express my love for a city that has come to have such a pivotal role in both my personal life, and my life as an artist. Twelve panels, twelve separate visions, twelve views of the water flowing on the Thames, twelve odes to the city I have come to love so greatly. People have been crossing this “dirty old river” for 1,500 years. They do so with their hopes and dreams, with their families and friends, with their memories and their loves! “As long as they gaze on Waterloo Sunset, they are in paradise”. It was then I knew that I wasn’t painting the water, but the love affair with the river and with London. My daughter and I have walked, driven and boated across the river countless times, it is always captivating and ever changing. My paintings are a complex edit of a multitude of colours; the Thames is just the same, every colour in the spectrum lays right on the water’s surface, every colour can be found there if we look closely enough. What does paradise look like? Simply walk along the South Bank or across the Millennium Bridge with your child or your lover, take a deep breath, and view my paradise.


WATERLOO SUNSET by Ray Davies and the Kinks Dirty old river, must you keep rolling Flowing into the night People so busy, makes me feel dizzy Taxi light shines so bright But I don’t need no friends As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset I am in paradise Every day I look at the world from my window But chilly, chilly is the evening time Waterloo sunset’s fine Terry meets Julie, Waterloo station Every Friday night But I am so lazy, don’t want to wander I stay at home at night But I don’t feel afraid As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset I am in paradise Every day I look at the world from my window But chilly, chilly is the evening time Waterloo sunset’s fine Millions of people swarming like flies round Waterloo underground But Terry and Julie cross over the river Where they feel safe and sound And they don’t need no friends As long as they gaze on Waterloo sunset They are in paradise Waterloo sunset’s fine

“The composer Adam Gibbons has graciously developed and written a mini symphony-mix in honour of this painting - and the great city of London and the beautiful “dirty old river” the Thames. Not unlike Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” which has come to sonically symbolise New York City and the mighty Hudson River, Mr Gibbons’ symphony offers the same iconic sonic love for this great city of London. His composition is a modern masterpiece!”


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

WATERLOO SUNSET| MIXED MEDIA | 229 cm x 30 cm (each panel)


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

WATERLOO SUNSET ABSTRACTED | MIXED MEDIA | 152 cm x 25 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

WATERLOO SUNSET EXPANDED | MIXED MEDIA | 152 cm x 25 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

WATERLOO SUNSET PURE | MIXED MEDIA | 152 cm x 25 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

FIRE NO.2 | MIXED MEDIA | 178 cm x 101 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

THE SECRET LIFE OF CHAMPAGNE IV | MIXED MEDIA | 140 cm x 320 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx cm X xx cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

CHARITY WORK

“I was asked to comment on my work for various charities, primarily through the donation of my art. Well my answer is this - I recognize that I am the luckiest man on earth! And looking around I recognize that this is not a prize or an entitlement, but rather a gift. And I can only honour this gift by giving back what I was so freely given. It is my frame of reference that it is never “charity” but rather “collaboration”. TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx cm X xx cm Alex Echo


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

VIEW FROM THE EYE OF THE RHINO Donated to the Tusk Trust Foundation by my daughter Jasmine Isabella Echo

My daughter, Jasmine Isabella Echo, is deeply concerned with the wellbeing of animals and all nature in general. From the tiny caterpillar to our two goldfish and our cat to the mighty African Elephant she has deep respect already at the age of six for all life on this little blue planet. Thank goodness! She and her generation and those to follow are the hope we all have for cleaning up the mess that my generation really didn’t know or understand we were creating. I am very proud of my daughter and her clean and pure insights into the better health of our planet. It was at her request that this painting and donation be made to the Tusk Foundation, and I was only too happy to oblige. She helps light my path. Since its formation in 1990 Tusk has raised over £20m for a wide range of projects across Africa, which not only work to protect wildlife, particularly endangered species, but also help to alleviate poverty through sustainable development and education amongst rural communities who live alongside wildlife. Africa’s elephant population stood at 1.3 million in 1979 and crashed to 600,000 in 1989. Today the population is estimated to be as low as 400,000. The black rhino population in Africa stands at approximately 4,800 with the white rhino numbers totalling just over 20,000. HRH The Duke of Cambridge became Royal Patron of Tusk in December 2005 since when he has been an active supporter of the Charity’s work. In 2010 the Prince undertook a joint overseas tour with his brother Prince Harry to see for himself some of the Tusk sponsored projects in Botswana. The Duke has spoken out on a number of occasions against the illegal wildlife trade. Last month the charity held the inaugural Tusk Conservation Awards at The Royal Society where the Duke presented the first ever Prince William Award For Conservation to Clive Stockil from Zimbabwe. In July 2011, in response to increased donor interest and support, Tusk formally launched its United States presence with a US Patrons’ Circle event in Los Angeles, attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during their official visit to the United States. In 2012, Tusk opened its first overseas office in New York, firmly establishing its commitment to its American donors. 


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

VIEW FROM THE EYE OF THE RHINO | MIXED MEDIA | 30 cm x 30 cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

“Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us... sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialise if we work for them� Anonymous


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

SOMETIMES QUICKLY, SOMETIMES SLOWLY In December 2012 a custom Fender Stratocaster arrived at the door of Alex Echo. Sent by the world-famous guitarist and lyricist Eric Clapton, Echo set to work creating a masterpiece. Born out of a meeting between the two at a Rolling Stones Concert, the concept for Echo to custom design a guitar for Clapton was created. Hand carved and built by Fender’s premier master craftsman Todd Krause to Clapton’s exact specifications, this exquisite instrument proved to be a new challenge for Echo. What at first seemed like miscalculated mistakes guided by the relentless curves of the guitar, turned out to be serendipitous little miracles of sensuality, paint, surface and shape. Manipulating the twenty or so colours before him Echo created a modern masterpiece, to the sheer delight of both himself and Clapton. It was the decision of both Echo and Clapton that the guitar would be auctioned at the exhibition with all proceeds going to the recovery facility The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, founded by Eric Clapton.


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx cm X xx cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

PAUL SMITH COLLABORATION

“In 2010, Sir Paul Smith asked if he could use one of my paintings, titled 'Classic with a Twist' to create a primary fabric pattern for the Paul Smith Ltd 2011 Spring and Summer Women's Wear Collection. The result is the most elegant and playful fabric I have ever seen. I was over the moon to see my painting walking down the runway during London Fashion Week 2010”. TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx cmEcho X xx cm Alex


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx cm X xx cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx cm X xx cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS Sir Paul Smith Robert Downey Jr. Glen Frey Oprah Winfrey Ted Turner Alain Boubil (lyricist, Les Miserables) HSH Prince Rainier of Monaco Cindy Crawford Jimmy Carter Madonna Billy Joel

CORPORATE COLLECTIONS AT&T

The Princes Grace Foundation

Absolut Vodka

Trierenberg Holding AG

MGM

Gibson

CAA

The Interiors Group

NIKE

Norton Rose Fulbright

Sony

St-Denis Church, Tourtour, Provence Cote d’Azur

Akzo Nobel Climate Change Capital

APLA (AIDS Project Los Angeles)

Seagrams

The City of Los Angeles, California

Swatch Watch

Elton John Aids Foundation

AMFAR

TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx cm X xx cm


ALCHEMY | ALEX ECHO

TITLE OF IMAGE | MIXED MEDIA | xx cm X xx cm


ALEX ECHO

The images contained within this literature are an artistic representation of the collection. To best experience our art, we recommend you contact your local gallery to arrange a viewing. Š Washington Green 2013. The content of this brochure is subject to copyright and no part can be reproduced without prior permission. washingtongreen.co.uk

Alex Echo | Alchemy  

Step into Alex Echo's world and enjoy the brochure to accompany his exhibition at Castle Fine Art, Bruton Street, entitled Alchemy.

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