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Stéphane Alexis
Alex Finlay
200 Boulevard René-Lévesque O, Montréal, QC H2Z 1X4


Stephane Alexis is an emerging Caribbean-Canadian artist living in Ottawa. A graduate of Algonquin College, he also holds a Diploma in Photographic Arts and Production from Ottawa’s School of the Photographic Arts (SPAO).

Stephane Alexis has received several grants from the Ontario Arts Council, and was selected for the Karsh Continuum 2022 exhibition (Ottawa). He has exhibited at the SPAO Centre Gallery, Point of View Gallery, Ottawa Art Gallery Annex, and has collaborated on photo exhibitions outside of the country.

Approach and works on display

Stephane Alexis’ work emanates from his personal experiences with the demographic and sub-demographic segments to which he belongs.

From the exploration of his masculinity, to the issues of the African-Canadian community, to the world of people with special needs and to family caregivers : each of Stephane’s project conducts a large amount of research drawing from both his own experience and external sources (family, library, community organizations, …), guiding the direction of the project.

His photography-based work articulates conceptual and plastic propsition. Through the plastic and conceptual qualities of his work, he wishes to build a bridge towards a better understanding of the situations and issues that these communities are facing.

Under a differentiated light, Stephane Alexis magnifies the resilience and dignity of his communities, and engages the Other to question his own knowledge and consciousness.

Chains & Crowns (2020)

This work celebrates the heritage of black communities through their hair. While beauty standards still consider frizzy hair dirty and ugly, thus pushing black people to straighten their hair with ammonia or formaldehyde products, the appropriation of African hairstyles, and particularly braids, has been perpetuated since the dawn of time. Inspired by the hair journey of the artist’s mother, this photographic project traces the different hairstyles invented by black people, symbols of their creativity, resistance and resilience. The artist wishes to question the history of our nappy era (contemporary movement of valorization of natural frizzy hair), and therefore create a dialogue. How to identify the importance of hairstyles in black cultures, remedy the violence of cultural appropriation and reaffirm the dignity of black communities?

“Also discover the “Chains & Crowns” series at the Pierre-François Ouellette contemporary art gallery from April 9 to May 14.”

Works by the artist

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