Here & Now - AJA Louden

Date: Apr 16, 2024

About the artwork

Like Me is a series of spray-painted portraits on wooden assemblages made from construction materials that celebrates artists who practice their craft in Edmonton. The reference images for the portraits were sourced from each artist’s social media feed and the materials are "purposely scrappy, as if they pulled off the street."

This artwork is part of a larger series of portraits by AJA Louden entitled Like Me.

This artwork is included in the Here & Now exhibition at the Royal Alberta Museum until September 29, 2024. Learn more about the exhibition.

The AFA acquired this artwork through its Art Acquisition by Application program in 2023. This program is designed to acquire contemporary works of art by any eligible Alberta artist.

Artist statement:

The following is an excerpt of AJA Louden's artist statement. Read the full statement.

Elsa Robinson is a multifaceted artist and the matriarch of a family of important Edmonton artists. Elsa’s sculptural textile works, paintings and collages exploring representations of Black families are particularly inspiring.

As an educator and workshop facilitator, much of Elsa’s life work has involved making art and artistic practices accessible to communities in a way I wish I’d felt as a youth. Two of her children, Shima and Judah, are prolific artists in their own rights, and seeing Elsa’s expanding legacy imbued in her own lineage helped me understand the undeniable value of nurturing and nourishing emerging talent.

Artist profile

AJA Louden  (AJA sounds like 'Ajay', short for Adrian Joseph Alexander) is an artist based in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Treaty 6, Edmonton, Alberta). Born to a family tree with roots split between Jamaica and Canada, Louden is a child of contrast.

Bold and arresting freehand spray-painted portraits of pop culture figures from Jimi Hendrix and Richard Nixon to local heroes like Rollie Miles often alternate with hand-lettered designs and vibrant patterns borne of a background in graffiti. Louden looks to bring a multifaceted, collaborative, and multi-narrative approach to contemporary urban muralism.  

Go to the exhibition