Alexandra Klimas’s subjects appear tangible and would even be audible if they weren’t paintings. Her models are farm animals, her favourite being Black Pied cattle. Every animal becomes a poignant and intimate portrait. She paints these animals with a reason. Pets are pampered and adored, but we are spared images of animals for the meat industry. She wants to shed light on this group of ‘forgotten’ animals. Will that change how we see these animals? That is what she has explored.
For years, Alexandra Klimas has had doubts about how our society functions. About our consumption habits, abundance, overproduction and the way we treat animals. And about transport, factory farming, the way we treat animals while they are alive and how we end their lives. She only visits farmers that take good care of their livestock and who put animal welfare first.
Alexandra paints what her heart goes out to. Realistically, almost lifelike. Her models have names and force the viewer into an intimate relationship. And that is precisely her goal. “I am not an activist,” she says, “I am an artist and I make art. Art should touch people and make them think. I don’t want to shock people. I am satisfied when people feel more connected to this group of ‘forgotten’ animals. I get to know them as I sketched them at the farm. Their personalities, too. I try to paint each animal as lifelike as possible and to properly depict their unique personality and emotion.”
Alexandra: “I want to inspire people to pay more attention to the ‘forgotten’ animals that are used for our consumption. That’s why my models have to look like they did when they were alive. It is a tribute to their involuntary sacrifice to us humans. It reminds us to feel empathy in this increasingly hard world and helps us to re-establish contact with nature.”