We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Mediate and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Happiness is a concept that adapts and redefines itself in my life. I tend to find it better when I am in good company, and when I know the people I love are safe. When I spend too much time at home and start feeling down, I need to simply walk outside and realize there is a sky above us, fresh air, and living beings all around. I really thrive on communication, sharing ideas, and being there for one another, whether it be in the virtual or physical world. I realized that human company through family, friends, relationships, and community are key factors towards promoting happiness in my life. Phone calls with my grandma, buying fresh cut flowers for my living room, discovering a new song I like, or wandering southern California beaches are precious moments I can’t live without. Knowing that the issues I am facing in my life are temporary is something I always have to remind myself. At the end of the day, it will always be happiness over everything for me, even if it sounds selfish and unattainable. Everything in the future is imaginary so I try my best to be content with the moment whilst not fixating on the past and what could be.
Let’s talk about your practice. Tell us more about your art, what can you share with our community?
When it comes to my art, I am currently attempting to create a series that transcends my current moment. I feel that I am in such an uninspiring time in my life due to the pandemic and have been looking inward. Ever since the March 2020 lockdown began, I’ve been documenting my dreams when I wake up and if I remember it. I have so many ramblings on my Notes app that are different plots, people, and spaces intertwining for no apparent reason at all. I see this as a diary of sorts for a life I could be living. I decided that I should make a series that visualizes the dreams I’m having by attempting to recreate them in the physical world through photography. Dreams being unstructured forms of imagination is what makes this work interesting to create. It’s intriguing to me how we can never actually solve problems in dreams, only explore them. I’m planning on either opening a virtual exhibition of the works and/or creating a photo book in the near future when the project is complete. For now, I can show some of the images that will be in the final production. Working in photography is a challenging medium to use for an abstract documentary project of this nature, but I feel it’s worth it. It will be very difficult to put an end date on this project, because I don’t want it to feel rushed. Hopefully I will definitely cut this project off at some point in 2021.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a best friend visiting LA for the first time, I would definitely bring them to the different areas of LA that feel so different yet inseparable from one another. I would obviously have to show them the westside with a chill beach day. We would either eat and drink at The Butcher’s Daughter on Abbot Kinney in Venice or Lula’s on Main Street in Santa Monica. I would then try my best to bring them to a beach location that is tourist-free so they can enjoy the serenity of the ocean and sun. For our downtown day, we would definitely stop at a rooftop bar/restaurant that overlooks the city whether it be Upstairs at the Ace Hotel or Perch. I would also throw in an art gallery and reserve a time at Hauser & Wirth. For our Hollywood day, we would stop by some of the art galleries in the area such as Regen Projects, Jeffrey Deitch, and some of the other smaller exhibition spaces. We would also hit up Mel’s Diner on Sunset during the day for impossible burgers, fries, and milkshakes. I would also find time to go to Hae Ha Heng Thai Bistro in Koreatown because they have the best mango sticky rice I’ve tried in Los Angeles to this day. Also, if my bestie likes donuts we would have to go to Donatsu in Little Tokyo, no questions asked. It mainly depends on what my bestie wants to do, whether they want to explore the city or chill out. I’m always down for either or. Los Angeles is fascinating to me because I’ve been living here for about 6 years now, and I can still see/experience something new everyday if I tried.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I think of it, it seems the main shoutouts I would have to give are to my family, friends, my former college (Otis College of Art and Design), and the National YoungArts Foundation. I couldn’t even fathom being on my own in Los Angeles without the help of those listed before. It took others to believe in me in order to design a life that I love.