Alex Buchanan (Born in Boston, Massachusetts) is an artist and merchant marine who received a BFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Alex also served four years active duty and began his journeys at sea in the U.S. Coast Guard. He focuses on his nautical influences and conveys them as a visual language by layering literal and conceptual translations in plain sight. Alex has exhibited on the East and West Coast, and he resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Artist in Residence, May-June 2018
Rope To Trope
Arguably the most vital material utilized across the ever-industrious maritime industry by rugged expendables, tells a story greater than the one it mimics by being weathered, strained, discarded and replaced. Now tattered and frayed, its imperfections become intentional and humbly individualize themselves, reflecting personal experiences, conquests over the horizon, and even moments of vulnerability. They echo, “We are sailors and we come from the sea.”
If they told you they were going to show you the ropes, they’re not really talking about rope at all. That’s a trope, and in this case I’m not only referencing figurative and literal meaning simultaneously. The elements which culminate what you see become a tangible trope. It is meaning beyond the material, but with respect for the fiber strong enough to believe in a cherished commodity, both new and old. Your desire to interact with its tactility reflects not only object quality and subtlety of texture in the source material, but the solitary state of life at sea, and the transcendent state of yearning.