Alexander Small © 1998 - 2019 all rights reserved

The Dead Only Know (It Is Better To Be Alive) - 2009



Graphite, Ink on Paper

146cm x 96cm
Price on request


“We must die as egos and be born again in the swarm, not separate and self-hypnotized, but individual and related."

Henry Miller, Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion

With a return to figuration and the image, these works explore the idea of de-individuation or death of the self through intoxication. The death of the self in psychological terms by the use of alcohol is prevalent in our binge drinking culture, a ritualised dionysian under belly of English society.

Using archaeological images mapping the last resting place of these past individuals as a symbol for dionysian death of the self, they are juxtaposed with classic symbols of Dionysis including grapes, snakes and a thoughtful maenad. These symbols are represented by black silhouettes and a film of starry seed like dots linking to ideas of potential, the night, danger and communal rebirth.

This dionysian under belly has a long standing alternative to many failed belief systems - the weekend session. This tribute to Dionysis with its pub philosophies and moments of epiphany, casts the individual as a reveller or ‘binge drinker’ seeking certainty where there is none and throwing the ego into oblivion in an act of defiance.


Also available as a Giclee Print 64cm x 100cm

Giclee Signed Limited Edition of 100
£120 (unframed)

The edition is printed on Somerset Enhanced Velvet 225gsm paper and each print is signed, stamped and numbered by the artist.

To purchase a print please contact us here


Alexander Small © 1998 - 2012 all rights reserved