Alexa de los Reyes

I’m intrigued by analogous images in our environment–elements in nature that share forms but not functions or origins. Tree branches, cracks in pavement, light reflected on a swimming pool floor. Veins in a marble slab, ocean foam drying on the sand, spiderwebs, skin cells. I find images that exhibit this enigmatic quality curiously moving, and by painting them or their abstract forms I try to capture the unexpected resonances that give our everyday surroundings depth and mystery.

This painting series is called “Out of Our Element,” and I began working on it while living in Puerto Rico in 2004. After taking some underwater photographs of friends I found that water was a unique and powerful lens that seemed to reveal hidden aspects of my subjects. Creatures and haunting images of all sorts appeared in the reflections and refractions. The images still resonate powerfully with me, and I try to render them exactly as they appear in the photographs, which are too fantastical to invent.