Hi Alexander, that’s a great background. What is it?
This is the Mont Blanc in the clouds. I painted this picture last week at the top of the mountain.
The interview with Alexander Inchbald takes place via Zoom. In the background, you can see a photo of a snowy mountain landscape and next to it an artwork on an easel. The black canvas stands out strongly against the light background.
For a painting of a snowy mountain it looks really dark.
It is dark. It’s black on black. My current series is called When I Was Black. The series is inspired by my bigger mission of changing the climate of inequity. It’s what came to me. So that’s what I’m doing at the moment, painting about inequity and the climate. I am convinced that in order to change the climate for the better we need to resolve inequity conversation, and we don’t resolve inequity until we rebalance ourselves.
So with your art you want to change that conversation?
Exactly. As an “extreme artist” I paint pictures of landscapes in extreme conditions. All of my paintings are about the illusion of identity. I want to show that identity is not who we are. We are a spirit with an identity, not an identity with a spirit. In fact, I believe that you can really choose and create the identity you want.
During the conversation, Alexander switches backgrounds showing beautiful landscapes from all over the world with the artwork that he painted there. With every painting comes a story. He shows a painting in front of Mount Fuji in Japan, where nature interfered with his original plan of painting a perfect reflection in the lake. Another picture was created during heavy winds in Provence, and a third in the middle of a snowstorm where the blizzard was so strong he couldn’t even see the canvas.
Could you explain that a bit more? I understand that you paint landscapes, but actually your artworks are about human nature and identity?
Well, let me tell you a story. It happened six years ago in Japan. I went there to the foot of Mount Fuji with the idea of painting a perfect reflection of it in a lake, two inverted triangles – Mount Fuji the right way up and its reflection, inverted. I had everything planned, including a live broadcasting session of the creation process via Periscope, so the date and time were fixed.
But then when I got there, to the lake, and just wanted to start painting, I noticed the winds starting to get up creating ripples on the lake.
At first, I was not too concerned. I continued my preparations and set up the video camera. But the waves didn’t calm down. So I started painting anyway with about 300 people watching me. During the painting process the waves got stronger and stronger. It was challenging, because it is harder to paint waves than it is to paint a calm, flat surface.
Why is that?
Waves are difficult to paint because they’re moving. You have to slow your mind down in order to be able to see how they’re moving which takes a lot of effort and concentration. I finished the painting after about six hours. But I was frustrated as it was not the painting that I originally intended to paint. On the way back when I was walking along the lake I passed a Japanese guy. He was wearing a T-shirt with three words written on it in English, saying: “Don’t create waves.” This really hit me. And this has happened to me again and again.
You mean these coincidences?
I prefer to call them synchronicities. They happen all the time, and you can see them as signs that we’re creating our reality all the time.
Let me say this again: We are creating our reality all the time. It’s just that you only see that you’re doing it when synchronicity happens. My painting experiments have shown me how the “matrix” is constructed and how we can change the matrix literally with our thoughts.
“We are creating our reality all the time.”
In your “Masterpiece program” you help people to identify their purpose, unleash their creativity and bring their “Masterpieces” to life. How have your paintings inspired this program?
Everything in the “Masterpiece program” was based on my experiences of painting in extreme locations, and I felt the need to share that with others.
Through painting in nature I have learned that whatever you resist, resists you. And I have also learned how to drop the resistance. It doesn’t matter whether it’s to the wind or to the snow or to the rain or to the clouds or to a company or to another person. All of it is ultimately resistance inside of you.
What do you mean by that?
Most of the time we think that what we resist is outside of us. We do it with money, with people, with organizations, even with culture. Whatever we see as outside of us – or not ‘us’ – we resist.
Through painting, I realized how you can bring a “Masterpiece” to life, actually, how you can work out how everything works. I saw how you can have a loving relationship. I saw how you can work as a team. I saw how you can work as an organization. I saw how the organization can work with other organizations. I saw how we can solve climate change and inequity.
I learned that all resistance is actually inside of us. When we stop resisting the resistance, we start seeing the connection to all of it. This is way easier, and also way harder than we think. It’s way easier because we actually don’t have to do anything.
Do you have a tangible example of this? Maybe even in the context of money and building wealth, because I can imagine that there is a lot of resistance around money.
Yes, you are correct, most of us have a form of resistance to money. We either reject money and push it away unconsciously, or we are addicted to money. Oftentimes, it is exactly this difficult relationship to money that stands in the way of us creating our “Masterpiece” and realizing our vision.
How can we overcome this resistance to money?
Many of us talk about financial independence. In other words, we believe when we have enough money, we will be independent. The truth is that you will never have enough money to be independent, because if you’re addicted to money, then you will always need more money, and you will never be truly satisfied.
If you speak to multi-millionaires or billionaires and ask them: Do you have enough money?, and these people have not resolved their relationships to money, they’ll tell you that they don’t have enough money. If you are addicted to money you will never experience financial independence.
“If you are addicted to money you will never experience financial independence.”
Do you also sell your pictures?
Yes, absolutely. The When I was Black series will sell for twenty-five thousand dollars. My plan for this new series is to create an NFT around the pictures and share the whole story, the whole narrative of how we created them.
Let me briefly explain: An NFT is a non-fungible token, meaning, a digital entity that is unique and saved on the Blockchain forever. It’s a hot topic for creators, at least since digital artist Beeple sold an NFT artwork for USD 69 million this March. So Alexander, what will be part of your NFT offering?
The NFT will be the time-lapse video of the painting process. Nearly every single painting I’ve ever painted has a time-lapse with it because I have painted in pretty cool places around the world. The time-lapses are kind of cool. With the NFT, I can not only sell the artwork, but also the act of its creation.
To illustrate how such a time-lapse video looks like, Alexander shows me a part of it. It shows him painting and explaining how you can connect to nature.
What does wealth beyond money mean to you?
For me, wealth beyond money refers to your health, your love life, creating your “Masterpiece”, and in the process rebalancing ourselves so we rebalance the planet. That’s true wealth to me.
Thank you so much for this interesting conversation, Alexander! All the best for you.
Alpian has submitted an application for a full banking license to Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Content of this publication is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.