Joshua Danger Alexander isn’t typical in any sense you might envision. The 26-year-old finger-painting Cree native artist from Ermineskin grew up making art but he does it in an unusual way – with his fingers as a paintbrush.
We’re stoked to be currently featuring a few pieces of his work in our store in Inglewood, and invite you to come and view them. Here’s a small sampling and a few Q&A’s to get you acquainted with him.
C&S: Why do you do what you do?
JDA: I paint because I love to make art.
Where and how do you work?
I work out of my home studio, usually on a couple of pieces at a time.
What’s integral to your work?
Lots of paint that runs nicely, and music or a podcast.
What challenges do you face on a daily basis.
I don’t have any real daily challenges as I’m pretty free with my days. I can run out of ideas or inspiration, or my studio might be too cold to paint; the paint will get too cold to run smoothly.
If you weren’t doing what you are doing, what would you be doing?
I would still be doing contracting work. I have a construction business (on the side now).
What is the best part about the western lifestyle?
I admire aspects of it – hard work, skill, mental toughness. I have a native series in my art which could be considered a western “style”. Most people don’t know I’m native because I look white, so this series of my art allows me to share my background though I don’t know very much about it.
What’s a Native stereotype that should be burned?
I believe stereotypes are, for the most part, derived from truth. To me it’s up to the individual to not be the stereotype.
What’s your greatest career achievement thus far?
Hanging next to a few of my art heroes in a gallery.
Favorite book of 2017?
I don’t really read books but I enjoy a lot of comics. I get a lot from the used book store – Herman, Zits, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Far Side – stuff like that.
What makes you nervous?
Sometimes i get nervous about doing a live painting. I am not a performance painter so I don’t practice a piece before I do one at an event.
Your favourite artist – contemporary and historical?
Michael Godard. As for historical, probably Michelangelo.
As a teenager you were totally into . . . .
Really into cars in my teenage years, but always into art in some way or other.
What western art in Alberta/western Canada needs is. . .
The style and subject matter look as though only a few artists have painted them. Everything looks the same, in my opinion. There’s nothing particularly wrong with what’s out there, but we could use some unique or original style.
Musicians on your current playlist?
Nirvana and Eminem are the only two artists that I like virtually every song.
What is your proudest artistic moment?
Telling Michael Godard I would one day hang next to him and then the next time I saw him, my work was hanging next to his.