Lex Gjurasic is a visual artist from the rain-soaked Pacific Northwest currently living in Tucson, AZ. She has exhibited her work nationally for over 20 years most notably in 2009 as a featured artist in the exhibition KOKESHI: Folk Art to Art Toy at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles CA. In 2017 her video as part of the Miranda July achieve Joanie4Jackie became part of the permanent collection of the Getty Institute. Recently she has delved into public art completing a mural with the City of Tucson’s Downtown Mural Project as well as a temporary immersive exhibition at the Scottsdale Public Library with Scottsdale Public Art. Much beloved by the Tucson community, in 2018 she was nominated as a finalist for Best Visual Artist in the Tucson Weekly. She writes about her experience as an artist on her BLOG.
Life pumps through me so intensely that the only way I can process it is by making art. My work comes from the intensity I feel from being alive. For me life is not inspiration for art it is a compulsion to make art. As a child my grandmother said to me “You are just like me, you take a bite out of life.” But I don’t just want to bite life. I want to smash it and rub it on my face! I approach my materials in much the same intense way I experience life. I never restrict how I work or what I work with, I work purely from gut instinct. Whether it be found objects, unconventional materials or traditional materials my work is a visceral expression of life. Making art is my way of processing memories, emotions and experiences in a chaotic world.
Daily life is a practice in self-control, an exercise in self discipline as we interact with others and negotiate challenges. My studio is the only place I find the freedom to do as I please. It is where I work unencumbered without expectation in anyway I see fit. Pulverizing, smashing, globing, burning, scratching, prodding…. I work with materials with emphasis on the magic and failure of experimentation. Often working from memory, I go into my mind’s eye and search my dream life going anywhere my consciousness takes me. For me it’s meditative to remember. But I don’t believe my memories as infallible or in anyway accurate. I simply use them as the impetus to begin working based on a feeling then I maneuver my memory in such a way that it becomes art. And perhaps here, when the art is completed, reality can be perceived.
There’s this reoccurring dream that I have where I am actively seeking, and collecting. I dream this constantly, and as dreams sometimes go, this sequence becomes part of my waking life whenever I experience our southwest desert - a deja vu’ of sorts. I move through my relived vision, searching for fragments - pieces of a desert life lived, and when I find them, I bring them back to my studio. I allow my memories to mingle with my imagination until they morph into one and create something new - new art...new life. And because my imagination has given birth to new life, it allows the viewer of my work a different perspective of the external natural world, granting them access to the unseen internal realm we all carry inside of us.