Now that our Holiday Look Book has made the rounds (if you still haven’t seen it, you must! Click here) – we thought we would shine a light on the artist generous enough to open his studio and artwork to be photographed.

Tahoe the Contender

Alexander Rokoff is a Portland-based painter originally from New Mexico.  Rokoff is known for the old-world influenced style and sometimes dramatically large scale of his work, as well as subject matter.  His paintings are executed in the style of old masters with unconventional, modernized subjects ranging from Issac Brock of Modest Mouse and Storm Large of Pink Martini to everyday “forgotten” people – as he terms.  In the neighborhood between Mississippi Avenue and Killingsworth Street, Rokoff has documented many long-term residents and notable personalities, capturing a unique moment in time for an area that is rapidly gentrifying.

Clockwise from top left: Ruth SimonVirgil BakerJames “Chip” SimonBruce HollowayAlexander RokoffDavid Reese.

Clockwise from top left: The ContemplativeThe RecipientThe UnderworldThe Retreat

Rokoff’s work has garnered favor with international collectors as well as local ones – Mayor Sam Adams selected a number of paintings by Rokoff, including Issac Brock and the Seven Deadly Sins and Tahoe the Contender to hang in his office during his term (the decision for a city mayor to hang portraits of local musicians in his office made mention on Pitchfork and The Mercury.)

Rain Hell from Above

Rokoff’s art education has included study under European masters and work on several continents.  He currently resides in Oregon, and keeps a studio in the Falcon Art Community in Portland as well as one in Astoria, Oregon.

One reviewer said this of Alexander Rokoff and his work: “Alexander Rokoff is perhaps the leading young Attitude painter. His paintings are wise, quirky, and often cocky. Drawing exclusively from the people, community, events, and environments of contemporary life, Rokoff nudges viewers around, pushes them into curious and sometimes uncomfortable corners. At the same time, he challenges them to entertain foreign and awkward imagery. Appearing almost voyeuristic, his paintings make bare the emotion, restlessness, or contemplative states of the models.

“Each work is executed in Rokoff’s signature style, one that presents direct quotations from the great European masters and yet has a looseness of brushwork and an exploration of color and texture that is entirely Rokoff’s. His command of anatomy coupled with a complete understanding of how states of being—emotions and thoughts—manifest physically in the human form, make these images haunting and hypnotic.”

Issac Brock and the Seven Deadly Sins, left, and Storm Large

We would also like to extend thanks to the Falcon Art Community, which opened it’s doors and allowed us access not just to Mr. Rokoff’s studio, but to hallways, props and generally, being underfoot all of the artists for a day.

The Falcon Art Community (via their website) “Founded in 2006 by Portland real estate developer Brian Wannamaker, The Falcon is a privately funded and thriving arts organization supported by a portion of rents gleaned from a portfolio of vintage properties encompassing commercial mixed-use and residential rentals. This unique model helps to fund artists directly through low-cost studio space, patronage of work and marketing and career support from full-time staff.

“The Falcon Art Community provides an intentional community in which experienced and emerging artists inspire each other in an atmosphere of beauty and elegance. Imagine walking through the halls of the Louvre on the way to write, compose, paint, act or practice music in your studio—the Falcon aims to catalyze great art by surrounding artists in inspiring and masterful artwork. A unique live/work space where artists can live close to their work without having to live in their workspace, the Falcon recruits artists whose work combines excellence in craftsmanship and vision. Falcon artists are actively engaged in their career, using the facilities for creating new work and teaching, and taking advantage of special services to help promote their careers in Portland and beyond, while maintaining their personal and working vitality.”

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