Leslie Alfin is a multi-media artist who harvests internet images to be used as material in the development of her mixed media installations. Her current focus is the exploration of internet filtered information as social signifiers. Leslie has shown her work throughout the Northeast and lives in the Hudson Valley at the foothills of the Berkshire mountains.
"My work has always been driven by a keen interest in how we, as voluntary or involuntary consumers, negotiate and manage the barrage of internet driven information that impacts us daily. More recently these investigations have expanded to exploring the integrity of the information (truth, lies, fantasy, fact, misinformation, propaganda, etc) and how we individually or culturally assimilate this information into our lives."
Tell us a little about yourself and your background in the arts.
I am a native of the Hudson Valley and live at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains. Although I went to art school, as a single mother I chose to delay my art career in order to support my family. During this time I spent a lot of time working with emerging technology startups and as a marketing executive for Cingular Wireless in the early days of Blackberry and mobile technology. It was during this time that I developed a keen interest in internet filtered information and how it impacts our lives. When my daughter went off to art school, at 50 I returned to school for my MFA and began focusing 100% on my practice. It's not the usual path but it worked for me and, as a more mature "emerging artist", I have been able to filter out the noise and focus on what is most authentic.
What kind of work are you currently making?
In a move that surprised me, not long ago I transitioned from large site specific installations to mixed media wall installations that have a heavy reliance on painting. My interest in internet driven information is as keen as it has always been, but the delivery system has changed. I think I've allowed myself to become a bit more personal by changing format and materials allowing for a physical and emotional intimacy that wasn't present in the larger installations. I've just started a new series that explores the veracity of internet imagery and how its context can create a paradoxical ambiguity when applied to political and social identities.
What is a day like in the studio for you?
I work it like a job and start between 9-10am. I'm good for about 6 hours.
What are you looking at right now and/or reading?
For about two years I've been taking tours of galleries, museums and other art venues around the country to see the similarities and differences in what is being shown regionally. I've found that really interesting. Although there are clear threads that seem to be universal, there are also clear differences showing up in content, genres, even style and material. As for reading--I stick to things not art related.
Where can we find more of your work?