Since last year, British fashion designer Alex Foxton decided to explore his painting and drawing skills. After working for brands like Louis Vuitton and Martin Margiela, this thirty-something guy decided to channel his creativity into art. Since then, everything happened very quickly as Instagram helped him to have a worldwide following and buyers, without having an agent or gallerist. And yes, we discovered him on Instagram too. We had a little conversation at his studio/apartment about how it all started, his personal life influences, his paintings and why he’s obsessed with pink.

Hi Alex, tell me how everything started?

In the beginning, I was just doing some drawings for friends and then I started to post it on Instagram. It’s been quite amazing as when you put some images, people can react immediately to them. It was very encouraging as people all over the world were commenting by saying that they love my works and that they want to see more. It was very gradual.

Instead of Instagram, did you already exposed your painting in Paris?

I haven’t done anything! I met several gallerists but I prefer to manage everything by myself at the moment. I sell my paintings by using Instagram or ask those who are interested to come at mine to see my works. The idea of having an exhibition in Paris could be possible, may be later this year who knows.

You came from fashion and now you fully considered yourself as a painter, how do you manage this?

I think eventually I would like to get a gallery to represent me but for now, it’s ok. It’s important to have a gallery not only financially speaking but also in terms of skills development. I feel very independent as there’s no one telling me what I need to do artistically speaking. After working in fashion for so long where you create for someone else, painting it’s just about me and my brushes…that’s what I love.

Your paintings seem to be very personal… Is it hard to expose your private life?

Yes, it’s very personal. Sometimes it’s someone I know but sometimes you can find a lot of fictional characters. Many of my works are about real life people, for example, I like a lot to draw my boyfriend.

How long you take to make a painting?

Sometimes it can be very quick like 2 hours for the small ones. I’m very quick when I start something. But to be honest, if I can’t do it in one day, I get bored of it. A lot of my works are so spontaneous so I don’t know how it’s gonna turn out.


“After working in fashion for so long where you create for someone else, painting it’s just me and my brushes…that’s what I love.”


And what was the first painting you’ve sold?

It was a painting on paper, I sold it to a guy I know in Milano last year i think. He just saw it on Instagram and he asked to buy it. I was surprised as it was the first time for me to deal with the price. I was not able to price tag my painting and people from my entourage told me to sell it very cheap to get a huge amount of clients whereas some told me to make it a little bit expensive. In the end, I kinda found a middle price, there’s no fixed routine for prices and it depends a lot on the piece I’m selling.

Is it a choice to go in a gay-friendly kind of inspiration for your art?

Right, I mean, it all comes to my personal life and I love the male figure as well as I desire it. I’m a man and the first drawings were male faces. I’m still trying to figure out why this specific kind of face, I still don’t know, I think it’s a mystery *laughs*.

And your boyfriend appreciate being on your stuff?

Actually, he’s a very good model *laughs*.

Some of your works make me think about the Saint Sebastian painting, it’s an influence?

Yes, it’s an appropriation of the gay community and it’s also very sexually charged. When I drew some of them, I wanted to do something that is very ambiguous which can represent a relationship, a lover or a bad lover. I just have so much fun doing all this.

How does it feel to be a painter in 2018? Are you scared about the future?

Yes, I’m scared, which is normal, but the more I talk to artists, the more I feel comfortable, it’s like a relationship you know, like waiting for a boyfriend. In the end, it’s all about your connections.

You use a lot of pink in your work, why?

It’s a color associated with girls but I just love pink, I’m kind of obsessed with pink. It’s gay and drawing a man in pink is like subversive. It’s the color of blush and I don’t think about races, pink is more about an expressive color. By the way, I’m also obsessed with glitter.

Currently, do you have a favorite painter?

Yes, I just met a guy whose name is Louis Fratino, he’s from New York but currently based in Paris. We connected on Instagram and I met him, his work is beautiful and he paints a lot his boyfriend too.

Explore Alex Foxton’s body of work here.