Chronicling the experiences of being an African American middle-class girl in present-day society constitutes the main subject of my artistic inquiry. Working through the disciplines of drawing and painting, I have created works that explore the themes of developing cultural and sexual identity through the lenses of childhood and adolescence. The child’s gaze delivers a twisted, yet intriguing, perspective as it confronts the viewer with horror and humor. The affective charge of each picture delivers a sort of punchline by depicting non-verbal, yet very tense, interactions within this fictionalized fantasy realm. Occupying environments that are neither bucolic nor urban, the young girls investigate the origins and manifestations of race and social taboo through their precocious purview.
Alexandria Smith was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in New Rochelle, New York. She received her BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University her MA in Art Education from New York University. Upon graduating from NYU, Smith was a middle school Art Teacher in Harlem for three years. In 2008, Smith left teaching to pursue an MFA degree in Painting and Drawing at Parsons, The New School for Design. Smith continued to teach as a Teaching Artist for various arts organizations during her two years at Parsons. Her teaching experience had an incredible influence on her artwork and continues to inform her practice today. Children, more specifically adolescent girls have become the primary focus of her work. Smith has participated in various exhibitions throughout New York City including the controversial exhibit "The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks" at MoCADA in Brooklyn.