ANIMAL showcases a different street artist regularly in our feature, Scratching the Surface. This week, we profile Alice Mizrachi, a Queens-based painter, educator, and community organizer. Her figurative-style portraits and artwork — that are simply signed AM whether they’re in the gallery or the street — touches on female empowerment and social justice.

Name/Alias:
AM

Decade you were born in:
’70s baby.

City you currently live:
New York.

Drugs or natural highs?
Everything about me is NATURAL:)

How did you get your name?
My initials. That’s how I sign my paintings as well.

alice2-nov18

Why do what you do?
I initially started making art as a way to heal. I create art because I love it. It makes me feel alive, free, expressive, empowered, and it allows me to conversate with others without speaking. I was taught by my dad at a young age how to speak without talking; using my eyes, energy and body language. I found another way to do that through making art.

How does your mother feel about your art?
My mother loves my art! She is so proud of me, I’m lucky to have such an amazing old school loving kinda mom.

Are you making a living off your art? How’s that working out so far?
I do make a living off my art. Besides selling my art I also get commissioned for murals, residencies and community engagement initiatives. I work as a teaching artist for organizations that support social political and environmental messages. They often hire me to work with youth on messages through murals and/or a variety of art forms. To me education is one of the most effective forms of activism. I feel blessed to be getting paid for what I love to do.

Fuck the art world or embrace the art world?
I embrace what supports me. As of now I’ve been somewhat supported by the art world, I’ve made my own lane. I practice love as opposed to hate, it feels better to me.

Do you bring your smart phone into the bathroom with you? Why?
Yes. It’s where I answer emails sometimes and check my IG.

alice1-nov18

Do you ever feel like giving up?
NO. It’s not really an option for me.

Suggest an artist to follow.
This is a tough one. I have a list of great artists who are friends but I’m gonna have to go with me for the sake of favoritism:) lol. As for inspiration- I just saw Marisol at the Met and love her work :)