Strolling through New York City galleries, one doesn't usually expect to encounter Bad Girls Club catchphrases emblazoned upon contemporary art. But Alexa Cassaro is here to change the game with her reality TV inspired cartoons and comics. In her most recent showing, the NYC based artist takes on spunky realness with her own unique spin. Alexa is an illustrator, craftsman, printmaker, and cartoonist from Westfield, New Jersey. She creates cheeky and smart-mouthed characters in a sparkly but sensitive world. The sass is endless. She recently graduated from SVA’s MFAIllustration as Visual Essay program. We took some time to chat with her about her BGC obsession.
How were you influenced by Bad Girls Club?
Sass, sensitivity, sparkle, and realness. Those are the core ideas behind my work. A true bad girl surely has all of the above. I search for the inner sass and that snappy realness. The Bad Girls were exactly how I envisioned my characters. When I first started to watch the show, I said to myself, “I must draw these girls ASAP”! From then on I knew it was my fate to illustrate their sass. I created gutsy girls talking back with baseball bats, girls who don’t take crap from anyone, and girls who don’t need permission for anything. I also liked the idea that the “library is always open” in my work. just like it is on the show. They read each other and tell it like it is. This shade throwing and hard truth telling completely influenced my thesis. Smack talk is beautiful, but there are many times when the fights and heavy talks are real. Working on my thesis I began to realize it’s not just the Bad Girls’ sass, but also their true emotions. When it comes down to it, Bad Girls are real people, with real issues, real emotions, and true passion. I wanted to push my work further in this direction to show that it’s okay to be a strong, honest female who cries, laughs and loves (while still having debauchery in their lives).
Which Bad Girl is your favorite of all time?
Okay so I feel like Tanisha is a given because she is fabulously beyond fabulous. Besides her, I think I’d have to say Rocky. She’s bubbly, sassy and always sticks up for the underdog, probably the epitome of what my characters are. I think she stole my heart right away. And a special shout out to Mehgan! Ugh, I love her so. My thesis was filled with her quotes such as, “My weave really did cost 700 dollars” and “First of all…”.
What was your favorite season of BGC?
Oh man, Season 9. It was the season of the true sass and brilliance of Mehgan. That was also the season with the most intense reunion involving mustard, cranberry juice, and security guards on the floor. And of course Erika’s “I Don’t Understand” dance.
What projects do you have in the works?
I will be starting a web comic soon! It will be a continuation of my thesis. Be prepared for more sass, more cheekiness, and more brawls. Also get ready for some Bad Girls Club fan art.
Have you seen the trailer for the upcoming season? Any thoughts on the new girls?
I did and I’m super pumped. I see there will be a new set of twins. I’m hoping they will be as intense as Danni and Gabi!
Anything else you want to add?
I just want to say: You do you. If I didn’t use what I love to influence my work, I wouldn’t be happy, nor would I be making the work I am today. If you are sensitive, treasure it. It’s okay to have emotions and to feel the anxieties of life. If you are strong and independent, show it. Don’t care what others will think of you. If you like to party, party! Just know when to reel it all in and be respectful to others. Bottom line, embrace the sparkle, glitter, and sass within. Amen.