Alex Kahalehili, one of our workers in production and a humble artist, described his work to us this week – “A lot of people say my work looks childish on the surface but after a closer look, very deep and philisophical, which I actually like a lot.” And it’s true! While I wouldn’t use the word childish per se, if you look at his artwork there is a simple image layered with philosophy and psychedelic colour.
Alex started at a young age, with art being a part of his life ever since he could hold a pencil; one of his highlights includes the award of “Most Artistic Student” in elementary school. After that he went on to receive his BA in Studio Art from UH Manoa, and now works with us here at Black Sand Publishing.
Since his passion for art started, pop culture and philosophy have had a strong influence on Alex’ work – particularly The Beatles and John Lennon (can we point out the resemblance). Alex mentioned that the imaginative and psychedelic aspects of his illustrative work are where the influence lie. Other than culture and philosophy, Alex has another hobby and influence – skateboarding. “I’ve been skateboarding for like 10 years…and I do admire a lot of skater/artists like Ed Templeton.” While Alex does enjoy other artists work and appreciate illustrated comedy like Disney shows and Adventure time, he tries not to pay too close attention in order to keep his stuff original.
When speaking about the actual process of Alex’ pieces, he described his work as on the illustrative side, working with ink, water colour and oil paints because they are “rewarding”. The image chosen to display today was one finished recently with ink and watercolour – “it started off as one of my typical ‘character portraits’ but ended up looking more like a self portrait. I guess it focuses on my personal growth as a person that I’ve undergone in the last year or so.” Very beautiful!
As you look at Alex’ work, keep in mind the opportunity to “find your own meaning by inserting your own personal thoughts and memories in the blank spaces of the work.” Happy Aloha Friday and as Alex likes to say, “Live Freely”