Can I Arts you a Question? Is this Painting a Painting?

Look at this painting…


Did you double take? So did we. You are looking at the work of talented young artist Alexa Meade, who saves on the cost of buying canvas’ by painting her portraits onto people, turning a 3D person into a 2D photograph. Besides being wonderfully creative and effective, it forces the question – what form of art is this? It is technically a photo. But a photo of a painting. Or at least, a photo of something pretending to be a painting.


It is technically a photo. But it is a photo of a painting. Or at least, a photo something pretending to be a painting

Moreover, the original ‘art’ – the painted person, is temporary. After a few hours, the subject must get up, leave the ‘frame’ of their ‘painting’, and take a nice hot shower. All that remains is the photograph – so is that ‘the art’? Or, like performance and visual arts, was the art in the act itself? The transformation of 3D into 2D, transforming  the real world into something more tangible, a reflection of human experience.

Or are we overthinking this? Does it matter what ‘type’ of art this is? Perhaps all that matters is what it makes us feel, and that little moment of revelation when we see the eyes stare back beneath the paint.


What do you think? Is this painting, a painting?

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