Alex Israel (b.1982) was born in Los Angeles where he lives and works. He received a BA from Yale University in 2003, and an MFA from USC’s Roski School of Fine Art in 2010.
Israel’s work is concerned with celebrity culture and the Hollywood lifestyle. He is interested in the ability of mainstream cinema to manipulate its viewer. Using his hometown as an ecosystem for thought, he is inspired by the entertainment industry in LA. The artist is known for his multimedia installations constructed from movie-house props, as well as his large-scale airbrushed paintings. Israel’s works are often made in his studio which is attached to the Warner Bros lot in LA. In his exhibitions, he frequently combines his paintings with props to tell a story or a specific narrative of LA clichés, which carry symbolic weight and meaning. Israel both works in, and critiques, the celebrity milieu of Los Angeles.
Alex Israel reimagined LA’s cultural landscape into a web series, Rough Winds (2010), which can be seen online. The web series for which he is most well known is his revolutionary 2012 interview talk show 'As It LAys', presented at Reena Spaulings Gallery in New York and online. Unlike typical talk show interviews, 'As It LAys' sought to explore the personalities and likenesses of LA locals through a uniformly banal approach. More than simply fabricating videos and sculptures, Israel’s practice addresses the mystical qualities of Hollywood and the objectification of its denizens. Just as movies reflect both the phoniest and most authentic aspects of the human psyche, Israel expertly uses a wide variety of mediums to expose the follies, foibles and also beautiful expressions of humanity that are part of living in a highly commercial, incredibly interconnected global society.