Lex Brown

She // Her // Hers

[ID: Lex, a woman with a deep orange V-neck top, dark skin, and long hair in twists smiles confidently with arms crossed standing against a brick wall with street signs blurred in the background.]

Multimedia Poet and Performer
Philadelphia, PA
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by The Todd and Betiana Simon Foundation.

Lex Brown works to illuminate the basic wonder of our existence, often obscured by the complex and violent world we live in. In performance, music, video, sculpture, drawing, poetry, and narrative, Brown plays with the metaphysical relationship between individual and emotional experience and large-scale systems of commerce, oppression, and architecture.

Her work fluctuates between humor and seriousness, drawing on family history as well as current and historical events. Equal parts philosophy and action-adventure, it uses science fiction to liberate ideas from the dead-end spectacle of exploiting trauma. Through the creation of new characters and expansive worlds, she builds a contemporary lens to view reality, one conditioned by the omnipresence of data and the chameleonic nature of “information”—what she calls “the spaghetti.” Her practice is informed by her training in theatrical clown—a performance method defined by enthusiasm, honesty, and the essential hilarity of life.

She has performed and exhibited at the New Museum, High Line, International Center of Photography, Recess, and the Kitchen, among others. Her first work of fiction, My Wet Hot Drone Summer, was published by Badlands Unlimited. Her newest book, Consciousness, is available from GenderFail and is in the collections of the Met, MoMA, and the Whitney.

She received her MFA from Yale University and BA from Princeton University. Brown teaches at Princeton University as a lecturer in Visual Arts and at Harvard University as a College Fellow in Theater, Dance & Media and Art, Film & Visual Studies.

Portrait photo by Jennifer Buhl.

  • Artwork by Lex Brown
    Lip Gloss Alurt, 2017. Documentation of video projection. 4 minutes. Video Narcissism, the High Line, New York City. Video by Timothy Schenk.
    [ID: Projected onto a concrete industrial wall, Lex Brown, a Black woman in a costume dog nose and dog ears, sticks her tongue out. A person stands below the projection and watches.]
  • Artwork by Lex Brown
    The Glass Eye, 2020. Behind-the-scenes documentation of a short film. Photo by Max Marshall.
    [ID: A white person with a groomed beard and slicked back dark hair and a Black person with a braided bob and wearing a fur coat sit at a table in front of a green screen, pointing and gesturing passionately as if to say "you know what to do" or "give us more!"]
Artwork by Lex Brown Artwork by Lex Brown