Alexandra Karakashian


Alexandra Karakashian’s work revolves around personal and family history, migration, identity, refugee-status as well as demographic and geographical divisions, bridging the gap with her choice of medium and materials. Employing used engine oil and salt, she frames ecological discussion in the context of waste and the unethical seizing of rapidly dwindling natural resources, particularly on the resource-rich African continent. Her extensive use of the black and white binary confronts and references South Africa’s complex history on these terms and her own understanding of on-going racial discrimination in South Africa and around the world.


Alexandra Karakashian (b. 1988, Johannesburg) is a South African artist based in Cape Town, South Africa.

In 2018, Karakashian was included in a group exhibition at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City, titled Ravelled Threads, and was included in SMAC Gallery’s presentation at FNB Joburg Art Fair at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In 2016, she was the artist-in-residence at Capo d’Arte in Gagliano del Capo, Italy, culminating in a solo exhibition at the Villa Medici in Gagliano del Capo. She is represented in numerous private and public collections including the Iziko South African National Gallery, South Africa, the Spier Collection, South Africa; the Darvesh Collection, UAE; The Royal Portfolio collection, South Africa, and the Luciano Benetton Collection, Italy.


Photo credit: Alexandra Karakashian, At half mast, 2017.