One to Watch

Alicia Savage

Alicia Savage is an emerging artist living in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. She explores the relationship between the physical environment and internal thoughts in her works. Alicia photographs herself in rural, backroad locales she encounters on solo road trips, which function as both literal voyages and metaphorical journeys of self-discovery. Her surreal portraits, which combine elements of old and new (vintage dresses, empty roads), capture this spirit of exploration to find one’s identity.

Alicia has an extensive international exhibition history and has shown her works in countries including the USA, Japan, France, and Colombia. Her photographs were most recently exhibited in Fotomuseo’s international biennial Fotografica Bogota in Colombia and at the Panopticon Gallery in Boston.

What are the major themes you pursue in your work? 

My work, particularly my series Destinations, is often an examination of the internal and external environments we live in. There is the physical world, but there is also our intangible existence, within how we live in our ideas, emotions, intuition, fantasies, and daily thoughts. Too often I would only trust what was physically relevant or practical, and so I began venturing off on spontaneous solo road trips as a way to detour from what was always familiar and routine, allowing my curiosities to lead and documenting my mindset within the environments I was in.

To be very honest, I find this series Destinations to be incredibly difficult to describe in full, as I didn’t approach this body of work with an intended concept or vision, but rather it formed very organically alongside this period of self-exploration. And perhaps that is why many are able to relate to the imagery, as the images speaks to a universal element of human growth that we all experience throughout our lives in one way or another. But to define it further, this body of work certainly also explores the subconscious versus conscious, young adulthood, and independence within solitude.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?  

The best advice that has been given to me as an artist is to always be true to yourself and to value the process. Too often, our art can be pressured by influences such as acceptance, expectations, or profitability. It’s important to acknowledge our influences, take account of them, and to ensure you are pursing your art with clarity and sincerity. Appreciate what you create, and enjoy the process that is required to reach its potential.

Prefer to work with music or in silence? 

This depends on the environment I am working in. Much of my work is photographed in rural locations where I take enjoyment in the sounds of nature. When I am editing, music is a must.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be? 

This is such a difficult question, as I could never imagine only having one piece as there is so much art I love. I imagine my walls one day filled with the reflective minds of so many admired artists and friends.

Who are your favorite writers?

My reading is a bit all over the place as there is so much I want to learn and am intrigued by. In relation to my fine artwork, I am personally drawn to poetic writers that challenge internal and metaphorical concepts, recently such as Milan Kundera. I also love reading the rawness and candor provided in diaries and letters, such as the Susan Sontag diaries.