Alexis Ivec


Sentimental Senses



Project Description


In the early 20th century, a French novelist Marcel Proust had a revelation about madeleines and memory. He wrote that the right proportion of butter, sugar, and flour could trigger childhood memories that were unique to him. While he lacked the scientific understanding of memory formation, his hypothesis that items of importance were connected to memory was revolutionary for his time.

But what good are these associations and memories if they live only in our mind? In the novella, The Little Prince, a prince travels the galaxy and eventually comes across a field of roses on Earth. He is dismayed to realize his single rose on his asteroid was not the only rose. However, his rose was unique because she was the object of the prince's love and time. As a result, she was more precious than all of the others.

Throughout my project, I explore the idea of associative memory through stories and art. Our lives are made unique by the relationships and events that mold us into our future selves. Rather than focusing on the insignificance of our single story amongst trillions of others on Earth, I aim to celebrate the stories that hold significance to the storyteller.

Similar to Proust's madeleine or the prince's rose, the paintings in this exhibit are intended to symbolize the stories and relationships they accompany. It is important to recognize that I am an outsider to these stories; my artistic interpretation pales to the vibrancy, truth, and dimension of the stories they accompany. Despite this, my work provides a glimpse into the richness of the lives they illustrate.

As you explore my online exhibit, I ask that you reflect the relationships and stories that are dear to you; what associations have the power to trigger your own stories? How has the time you have spent with these memories added to the richness of your life?

About the Artist


Alexis started drawing in 2005 when she first saw the Dreamworks film, Spirit. Countless horses drawn later, she began to experiment with using color, taking a keen liking especially to colored pencil and watercolor. While she loves painting miniatures on airplanes and cafes, she also has completed numerous commissions as well.

At Stanford, Alexis majors in Human Biology, with a concentration in Neurobiology, Biotechnology, and Disease. She currently works in the Qi lab of Bioengineering at Stanford and will be interning in the Hippenmeyer lab of Neuroscience in Vienna this Summer. Afterwards, she will be studying abroad at Oxford to finish up her undergraduate degree while applying to graduate schools this coming Fall.

Explore Alexis's project online