Artist: Alvaro Alvarez
Exhibition: A Response to Classical Music
Media: Paint, Canvas, Music
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: In progress
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
For this week’s Artist dicussion, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Alvaro Alvarez, a fellow student of Cal State Long Beach. Alvaro is currently an undergraduate working on his BFA degree in the Sculpture program at the School of Art. Born and raised in Guatemala, Alvaro had always had a strong passion ever since he was young and had come to the United States when he turned 8 years old. He had always seeked interest in staying out of societal norms and wanted to be different. With his BFA degree, Alvarez hopes to become a teacher where he aspires to inspire children to express themselves and to motivate them to pursue their artistic passions.
The gallery had two large canvases that contrasted one another. One had been a white empty canvas with a bucket full of colors at the corner, whereas the other had been a canvas splattered with various colors with a white bucket at the end of its corner. The piece started out as a video of Alvarez standing on empty canvas as the Fidelio Overture of Beethoven began playing. Alvarez had various amounts of colors of paint on his body and began to react to the music accordingly. The piece held qualities such as ambiguity and free form expression. The staccato rhythm of the piece resonated the haphazard movement of the colors onto the canvas. He simply absorbs the melody and beats and takes off with his reaction.
Alvaro had explained that this piece was conducted over the course of three days. He explained that he had gotten few hours of sleep, and this piece was done in one take. He tried to make this as “raw” as possible, in order to really capture the essence of a true reaction. He also heavily emphasized that this is not a dance, but strictly a reaction. His reasoning is that a dance is a performance that requires practice, but since this was taken in one shot, then it would not be considered a performance. Alvaro had tried to break down the classical elements of Beethoven’s composition by feeling the song in every aspect and laid it on canvas.
Among the many talented artists at the gallery this week, Alvaro had the biggest impact on myself. His piece expressed ambiguity, in the sense that you do not know the outcome of what you create. To me, the random movements kept you on your toes and had you wondering what could happen next, just like it is in life. I felt like I connected with this piece a lot in the sense that I am very random and impulsive. On top of that, I have always had a strong appreciation for music, and classical music was a good canvas to paint this picture on as well. This piece reflected that one should step out of your comfort zone, to explore and find yourself, and to things outside of societal norms.