Alexa Meade Turns Realism On Its Head

Laura’s Team Pick:

My best friend from high school is back in town for the summer, which means that I get to spend the next couple of months in the company of one of the most smartest and well-read people I know. We live in different Internet neighborhoods, so she’s also really good at clueing me in to the stuff I missed. Alexa Meade is one of those things.

She paints people. Like really paints them. Using their bodies and clothes as a canvas, she turns living, breathing humans into graphic acrylic portraits.

The illusion is mind-bending. For every new picture I see, it takes me at least a couple of minutes before I can convince myself that what I’m looking at is actually a painting on top of a person. Alexa’s work was shown on June 6th at the National Portrait Gallery in an interactive (and very temporary) installation called “Portraits After 5: Camera-Ready Color.” Viewers were invited into the space and asked to interpret the exhibition for themselves by taking photos.

While the exhibit was only around for a day, you can check out Alexa’s work through her camera lens over at her Flickr page.


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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


  1. I went to college with that lady, and my eyes popped out of my head when I saw her stuff. TOTAL SURPRISE- she is BONKERS talented!

  2. Pretty amazing artwork. On the other hand, I wish someone would uh, paint me… *ahem* *coughs* Oh look, a bird…

  3. Love this! Some of her flickr shots are pretty mind blowing. I would have had no idea that they were real humans if I had not known ahead of time.

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