Weld Queen is a sculptor and performer.
The main materials Weld Queen works with are metal, welding techniques, and fireproof tarpaulin; thus, she creates her artist mythology through metal sculptures, royal costumes, performances, and public art.
A viewer’s personal experience is gained when they come into contact with the sculpture, and his presence gives the artwork a particular significance. The object is conceptually finished with the audience’s direct involvement.
Weld Queen wears royal dresses made of rough, fire-resistant canvas, which serves as the canvas for new works of visual art. And a welding helmet, which metaphorically imitates the crown, complements all her outfits.
She mythologizes her professional experience, elevating welding reality to the rank of luxurious art. Yet, according to Weld Queen’s point of view, labor is an action that helps people overcome egoism and leads to their spiritual formation.
Weld Queen’s art is a material depiction of the artist’s reflections on the evolution of her own worldview. In her works, personal emotions and life experiences take on a specific role as tools for viewing the world and comprehending human nature.
Through her works, Weld Queen conveys her observations of her inner struggles and ways to achieve personal harmony. In today’s society, where people are always under stress, personal space concerns are everyone’s original point of reference. Considering a problem of self-development from the position of the artistic analysis, Weld Queen solves it with the help of her own creative mythology.
The main focus of Weld Queen’s artistic interests is the problem of man’s inner liberation: from egoism and social status, from gender and age – and other limiting “bars.” It is difficult to deny that man is inseparable from his social physical nature: each of us from birth is given a body with a preset program “to be a woman” or “to be a man,” and our self-identification is often completely merged with the contents of this program. Established markers of success, such as the possession of something material, as well as power, recognition and popularity, have been imposed upon us. To grotesquely demonstrate this phenomenon, Weld Queen has created her own kingdom. As a performer, she repeatedly goes out in a royal tarpaulin dress and welding helmet representing the crown, with her own entourage and with royal trappings, and then returns to live in her royal castle. Nevertheless, the artist takes the position that there is much more than just external physical or social play. Man feels the power that moves and guides him, gives him development – and sometimes beyond what is possible, as he himself sees them. Viewing himself as a unit of this force, as a potential, he gains the ability to step out of the “infinite game” and take the position of “ABOVE.” Psychologically freed from the burdens of the level of social and physical interactions, he can more consciously manage his surroundings and move through his weaknesses.
The exploration of one’s own feminine nature and gender inherent in Weld Queen’s works is traditionally associated in European art with the ideology of feminism and often involves a struggle for rights and freedom of action. Weld Queen does not support the “feminist struggle” as a phenomenon, but accepts it and seeks to find a way forward, a way after. In today’s world, where people have already accepted that they can be women, men, undecided, and (in principle) anyone, the need to fight disappears.
This philosophy is the artist’s life credo. The exploration of personal awareness and the ability to step out of the endless “universe of social games” gives one a new understanding of freedom. Trying to find her way to this freedom, Weld Queen broadcasts observations of changes in her own life through her work and shares them with the world.
Weld Queen herself called the period from 2015 to 2018 “playful,” manifesting the theory of “Post-Pessimism. Most of the work of this period reflects ways of “getting out of social games” from a position of irony, laughter, and the effect of detachment. Boldly intertwining fantasy, myth and real-life observations, Weld Queen exposes the absurdity and often unseriousness of contemporary social values and regulations. The socially ironic line is clearly evident in works such as Boobs Dragon (2017), Cosmolover (2017), Casanova (2016), Fur Coat (2018), etc.
Laughter as a technique helps to see that within social games, as long as one takes one’s roles seriously, one is doomed to an endless struggle in which there is no winner. Post-pessimism is an exit from social games by removing the marker of importance from them; it is both an exit from egoism in the face of the whole kingdom created by the artist and an elimination of the former significance of luxurious life. Through irony, one is enabled to step away from the “battlefield” and, playing from the outside, to establish one’s own rules. Having passed through the stages of egoism in its various manifestations, one will free oneself from the pressure of inner passions and free one’s energy for spiritual formation.
Between 2018 and 2019, a new focus of Weld Queen’s artistic interests is emerging. Her work now concentrates predominantly around exploring her own bodily and feminine nature (and what exists “above it”), developing a performative direction and using the body as a primary medium. The performances Monarchy (2018), CALM DOWN! (2019), Limited Monarchy (2019) and others appear.
The main idea of the works of the new direction is the study of the world through the observation of their egoistic inner states, an attempt to overcome social patterns and the search for special forms of bodily and psychological practices that help to reach a new level of self-awareness.
Between 2020 and 2022 Weld Queen works primarily with large public art projects and educational activities. The artist popularizes the idea of the usefulness of work that subdues egoism through teaching welding, which paradoxically coexists with the bohemian and refined art world. As a curator, he organizes 3 art residencies in which he creates public art objects with a team of opencall-selected creators. Working with sound-public art, unique objects such as Tam-Tam (2020) and Sun Drum (2021) are emerging. The art residencies have also created the objects Sun Circle (2021) and Dreamer (2022), which fit perfectly into the landscape of the selected regions.
The artist continues to develop the mythology of the Weld Queen kingdom by creating Palanquin (2021) and issuing her own currency, the Weld Queen’s (2022).
Significant in the artist’s journey has been her repeated participation in Burning man events.
Alexandra Weld Queen was born in Kislovodsk in 1985. Since 2007, she has begun to come up with ideas that the artist first expressed in paintings, but in the same year, she began to look for “her material,” and so she came to sculpt and work with the metal. Since 2008, she has lived and worked in Moscow. With the move to Moscow, she continued her passion for working with metal and sculpture, looking for her artistic method. In parallel, the girl worked as a development director in the commercial and industrial sectors. From 2009 to 2010, she studied at the Institute of Contemporary Art. From 2010 to 2012, she received professional education at the Moscow Polytechnic College, specializing in welding technology. In 2015, she creates her first large sculpture, “Meditating Cat Tikhvami,” and at the same time, she adopts the creative pseudonym Weld Queen. A full-fledged artist’s journey begins. From 2017 to 2018, she studied at the “Free Workshops” at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow MoMA). Since 2015, Weld Queen has realized more than 40 sculptural projects, including major public art works such as “Brothers” (2017) and “Rooster Candy” (2016) at Kudykina Mountain Park in Lipetsk region, “Mother” (2019) at Mira Park in Novosibirsk, “Aerodrome for Walking in the Clouds” at Burning Man (2019), and “Sun Drum” in Murmansk (2021). Her works are in private collections in Russia, France, and the USA.