I moved to Memphis in 2007 for graduate school. I expected to be here for 2 years, then planned to move on and find work in another city. I ended up teaching part-time right after I graduated. After years of being poverty level poor, I was finally offered a full-time teaching position. So I decided to stick around and keep making paintings on the side.
The work in graduate school was very minimal in color and imagery. I was making very simple line drawings that were incised into oil paint. From there, I started incorporating collage materials into the paintings. I eventually gave up on oil because it took too long to dry and became very expensive. I started using acrylic and paint markers and the work became very colorful and comical. I don’t know if the materials had much to do with the subject matter, but I really liked the results I was getting.
Memphis has a great community of artists, and that is another reason I decided to stay. There is a lot of amazing art being made here, we just need to get the rest of the Memphis community involved.
Alex Paulus is originally from southeast Missouri, but has been a resident of Memphis, TN since 2007. He received his MFA from the Memphis College of Art and is now an Assistant Professor at Southwest Tennessee Community College. Paulus’s work has been shown in numerous galleries in Memphis, Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis, London and many others. His work has also been published in Studio Visit magazine, Beautiful/Decay, It’s Nice That, Osso Magazine, and Glasstire. He will also be featured in the South 2017 edition of New American Paintings.