Interpretation is a powerful tool. Artists rely on the personal experiences, memories and generic lifestyle of audiences to come to conclusions about their own work. Sam Alexander's watercolour illustrations can lead people to dark, sinister corners of their imagination, where little creatures lurk in the shadows and appeal the darker part of your mind. But on the other hand, they could be seen as gentle, simply misunderstood characters inspired from Sam's skinny arms and legs, unable to touch their toes or cross their legs... illustrations that will make you smile, as you make up a story in your head of who they might be.
Building her own narrative through Sam, Cecilie Harris has been photographing Sam Alexander at Established Models every month for almost two years. They are documenting Sam 'Boyhood-style' doing what he does best whenever they meet; simply being Sam. Yet, for this tenth Boys by Girls issue, Cecilie challenged Sam to become the charachers in his own illlustrations. Through the collaboration, she encourages Sam to curl his back almost to breaking point, to stretch and to leap and make his limbs move awkwardly like his creations for her lens. Model Sam put aside, the artist is let free. The photographs in turn cause the inspiration for the illustrations included in the issue 10 feature.
Sam is no stranger to Boys by Girls and often makes an appearance in the magazine pages and online. He was one of the cover boys for Issue 8, 'The Trouble With Boys', and you can buy his wonderful illustrations in the BBG shop. His dandy, mischievious little men cover three pages in his print feature for Issue 10, 'Muse', and there are a selection of the images shot by Cecilie exclusively available in the issue. Below is one of the photo and illustrations pairs that was part of this experiment.
Issue 10 is now available to buy in stores and online.
Photography and Words CECILIE HARRIS
Model SAM ALEXANDER at Established Models
Introduction by Savannah Liu.