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Cultured, is an 11” X 14”, two-color block, limited-edition print. It is


The Wrestlers, commissioned for


available for $300 exclusively at artsy.net/culturedmagazine.


with something. It’s a place you would never arrive at socially or through your peers because it’s a ritual. No one could stumble into it. You have to go there deliberately.” While some fans, perhaps most, gravitate to


the drawings strictly for their soft sexual provocation, for the artist, all of the work relates back to a divine (if not necessarily religious) source. There are direct corollaries to the approach of Memphis Group designer Ettore Sottsass, another fan of Tantric art, after his life-changing journey to India in 1961. “In India I found very strongly a sort of


dimension of sacrality," Sottsass later remarked. "Every object could become something so related


to your life that it becomes part of your vision of la sacralità [the sacred].” Where some might channel these


philosophical and cosmological access points through song, dance, pagan symbols, mandalas, Tibetan thangkas or yantras, Alphachanneling makes his moves via marker and brush. Born in Switzerland to Turkish and American parents, Alphachanneling’s early years included impressionable trips to both Turkey and the States.


The family later moved to the East Coast and from there, Alphachanneling studied engineering and industrial design. “I incidentally absorbed a lot of that language


and way of working,” says Alphachanneling. “It’s more democratic. Everyone can have that image or thing they like because there are multiples of it.” During that time, Alphachanneling also began


making digital 3D images of erotic desserts under a different pseudonym. “It’s like Candyland meets Willy Wonka but with a more futurist thing, kind of like Wayne Thiebaud," he explains. But when the artist happened upon a copy of Federico Fellini’s “The Book of Dreams” at a Manhattan bookstore, everything changed. “It was, like, straight out of his psyche,


unfiltered, and there’s something about how crude and direct they were, like a childhood drawing or something out of a dream journal,” says Alphachanneling. “I was really concerned with making things that were well-crafted, and then I saw this and thought technique was getting in the way. I see those sunset painters at the beach and that art is not cool, the tourist art, but I kind of identify with it. I’ll just draw these people in these


situations endlessly and it’s not going to get tiring to me. It will naturally innovate.” The next innovations are already afoot in the


form of flora and fauna becoming characters, bodies reshaping and elongating in order to push the boundaries of realism, and costumes emerging amidst the erotic, animistic landscapes. “I really love fashion illustration and clothing


and costume," says Alphachanneling. "These plants are one expression of that, but I feel like people’s clothing can carry a lot of my statement." Whatever the case, don’t expect to see the


artist's face (or learn a true identity) anytime soon. “I don’t see that serving my art,” says Alphachanneling. While driving me to a nearby BART Station in a beat-up Jeep that seems to fit perfectly into the whole reclusive hermit motif, the artist holds forth on the puzzling pseudonym. “In graphics you have your three colors—red,


green and blue—and the alpha channel is the transparency layer in an image, so everything under it will show through," says Alphachanneling. "It’s kind of cool because it’s like this other invisible space that you’re not going to see if you look for it. It’s more about experiencing it.”


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