Chicago is a huge city with an even larger history. We've seen pop culture icons and wave after wave of talent emerge from the Windy City creating their own lanes and starting movements alike. Alexander Burke is doing just that. I sat down with Alex and asked him a few questions about his work and who he is as an artist. At first glance, Alex's breathtaking photography is what has made him stand out with his intimate, awe-capturing portraits of the youth and urban Chicago. "I got into photography when I was 15-16 years old, I've been an artist for almost 2 years now. I took photography my freshman year of high school and hated it, mostly because of the teacher. It's ironic because this shit is my passion now." The Woodridge, Illinois native isn't just a pure shooter, though: "I've really been into painting, graphic design, & sewing lately. Definitely trying to expand my horizons and not just limit myself to being 'photographer' I hate that label, I'd rather be known as an artist."
Pushing boundaries is what makes every good artist, great. Alex draws inspiration from Bam Margera, Ian Connor, Ren Hang, Kanye West, Nigo & Tyler, The Creator alike. All of which have made a career out of pushing boundaries while simultaneously opening doors for new artists. In 2017, Alex started his own clothing brand called "Receipt" which has had success delivering a few collections thus far. The creative process and motivation for every artist is unique, I asked Alex about his and what he prefers to do while creating; "I really like watching old movies to get inspiration and new ideas for stuff. I clear my mind when I do a photoshoot, I try not to think about shit. This is my passion in life so I don't want any toxic thoughts on my mind." As we dove deeper into his creative process Alex told me "Heartbreak and depression have really helped me accomplish a ton of shit in the past and it still motivates me to this day. I always ask myself, 'am I going to be depressed today or am I gonna get up and do this shit? Juheard.'"
The promising young artist is poised to have a huge 2018 and I'm excited to watch him grow. I asked what we could expect from him next year as he said "I overall want to see my friends succeed and to help them prosper by any means necessary. You can expect more everything from me though, more clothes, more photos, more EVERYTHING." There's never a shortage of talent in Chicago, with new artists blossoming every day. But will he stick around? Alex told me "Right now I want to leave Chicago, I will forever love this city but the energy here is very toxic as of late. I only stick with a few people up here. I'll be moving out sometime during summer, stay tuned." As an incredible photographer and designer, Alexander Burke has a bright future ahead of him. It's only a matter of time until he receives the spotlight he deserves. To take a closer look at his work follow Alex on Instagram: (@byalexburke) & Twitter: (@byalexburke). (Thumbnail photo: @dom.jas)