Alexandra de Kempf

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About Me

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“Resurrection” 2011

Who I am

I

was born in Caracas, Venezuela. I was raised there and partly in the U.S., and I have been living in Germany since 1998.

Clay stuck to my hands some 28 years ago in Caracas, at the studio of a master and friend, Nieves Batista, in whose atelier I worked and learned during several years. I have not been able to keep my hands “clean” ever since.

I am an artist since I could finger-paint, always creating something, for work or for pleasure, in spite of the parental and cultural pressure to become something else. So I went on to become an architect (Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1991), a City and Regional Planner (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, 1996), and a Design and Technology Teacher (University of Cambridge, England, 2005). But I always held on to ceramics and design, exploring and developing my art through time.

At the end, you are who you are…

My Earth Women

I

love clay. Not only am I fascinated with its versatility, but also with its nature. Earth kneaded with water, making it plastic and alive; air, drying and solidifying it; fire, transforming it, making it permanent. The four elements together, becoming one.

Women are the leading theme of my work. My stoneware and porcelain women emerge from the symbiosis between clay and the creative energy of my hands. Men often confine themselves to impersonal public statements because admitting the creative power of personal emotion is understood as a weakness in most cultures. But as a woman, and furthermore, as a Latin-American woman, I feel free to portray emotions openly, and I believe that displaying these feelings, albeit symbolically, through my work, makes me stronger.

My sculptures are the acknowledgment of my need to express both my feelings and my conscious relationship to my own body and soul. Each piece is a celebration of womanhood, but also a step stone in a journey to restore and consolidate my creative self.

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“Tiempos” 2013

About my Art

W

hen I am working with my chosen materials, I feel deep joy and satisfaction. I always have to design and make something, touch materials inorder to experience them. I split the materials into their different aspects of appearance and meaning, this represents a very important part of my work.
The fusion and the separation of elements result in new things. The process of de-construction includes the potential for renewal and transformation. This situation between destruction and creation can be seen in my sculptures and paintings. I use a symbolic form of language as well as the language of reality.

The power which I give to my figures makes each of them a true protagonists of my life and my work. Feeling and movement overlay without intermission, and gestures create an exceptional and rich impression. The material (stoneware, wire, paper, paint) becomes something that is alive and that tells its own story, be it a clay figure or a collage.

My personal history and my Venezuelan roots influence prominently most of my work. Color, warmth, light and passion are the essence of my collages and paintings.