Alex Klaes (born June 3, 1987) was raised in the foothills of South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. His rural upbringing blessed him with an affinity for nature and a vicious independence. Klaes first began his study of art at Furman University where he received a BA of Studio Art in 2010. During this time he learned to love his camera and was inspired to take many adventures including his first cross country road trip. In 2013 Klaes’s self published monograph Mystic Blood garnered him little fame but great satisfaction. After its release, his itchy feet would lead him on a year long journey through Thailand and Australia, where he completed several photographic series. Klaes’s ramblings have led him to Charleston South Carolina, where he currently resides and plots for his next undertaking.
My main interest in photography could be called documentary, but I consider the work I do more of a visual anthropology. I am fascinated by subcultures, the individuals that create them, and the process of cultural production.
I study the people, places, and ideas in my life with a camera and through these images craft a photographic narrative of our experiences. This narrative is far from the realities of our lives which are often made mundane through the routine of everyday life. Instead it takes the fantastic moments of life, the bits of beauty and times of pain, and weaves them together to create a personal and cultural mythology. Through this mythology we legitimize and give meaning to our lives.
Mystic Blood tells of the isolation of the human experience and the acceptance that community brings. Each is terrifying and wonderful in its own right, yet meaningless without the other. We will all be born, live, and die. We will share repetitious lives, doing often what we did the day before. But occasionally we will share
a rare experience. It is these sublime moments, shared by few, that make us who we are. Only through this duality can we understand ourselves as something both absolutely typical and absolutely unique.
To see more of Alex’s work, please visit his website.