Demi in Art 110

Wk3 – Artist Conversation – Alvaro A.S.F

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Exhibition Information

Artist: Alvaro A.S.F
Exhibition: A Response to Classical Music
Media: Mixed Media, Painting, Canvas, Music, Installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Werby-Gallery
Website: In progress
Instagram: none                                                                                                                                                 Email: arturo830@gmail.com

About the Artist

Alvaro A.S.F. is a second year undergraduate at CSULB who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the School of Art’s Sculpture Program. He hopes to become an art teacher eventually to inspire the next generation of artists. Alvaro was originally born in Guatemala and moved to the United States at the age of eight. He eventually went on to LA City College and took art programs there. He is involved in many different types of media such as figurative canvas art, ceramics, printmaking, and photography. Alvaro originally had an interest for drawing and sketching what he saw first, but then wanted to add himself to the art by “responding.” He had a prior interest in classical music before so it was not just for this piece that it was incorporated, he actually wanted to include an interest of his to the art.

Formal Analysis

When you first step into the gallery, you will notice a projector playing Alvaro’s “A Response to Classical Music” on one of the walls and on the floors on both sides of the room will be an empty, white canvas and the canvas that Alvaro utilized to make his response.  You will also notice Beethoven Overture Fidelio playing as the audio in the room. On the canvases, he laid out rusted, metal wire and pieces of clothing that the wire goes through. The canvas splattered with paint was “messy” throughout. The clothes on this canvas also had paint on them and he even put out the shoes he wore. One shoe was on the painted canvas with a wire going through it and the other was on the laptop that was playing the video. Alvaro did not stop his showcase with the canvases or the video, he even placed props around the set up area with the projector and laptop on the stand. The canvas on the other side of the room was completely blank sans for a tray of color in the corner. I asked the artist what that tray was and he answered that it was the actual tray of paint he used to make the other canvas in the video. Scattered throughout the room are paint buckets that are either splattered with paint or completely clean and white. Also worth noting is that the spotlights on the ceiling are on for the areas of focus so the canvases and the wall where the video is playing.

Content Analysis

As stated by the artist himself, this piece is about his response to classical music through the medium of paint. I was wondering why Alvaro decided to include a blank piece of canvas on the opposite side of the room so I asked what the purpose of it was and he said it was to create conflict. By  putting the paint splattered piece and the white canvas in the same room, tension is created to emphasize contrast. Alvaro also did this to make people who viewed his art wonder what is going to happen with the white canvas and it worked since it was a question he received often during my time at the gallery. By doing this, Alvaro gets the opportunity to discuss with the observers when they ask about the blank canvas which I think is important so he can connect with the people viewing his art. I was wondering if he would continue the white canvas with another genre of music, but he said he would progress with classical pieces to get his work out to the public. One of the biggest things about Alvaro’s art is that it is not a dance performance. He asked himself if he could really call it “dance” because to him, he is just reacting to the piece. There is no emotion during the process; just him, the music, paint, and a blank canvas.

Synthesis / My Experience

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My first impression upon walking into the gallery was “dancing art.” After reading his description of the piece, I noticed he  said that this was not a “dance performance.” It was just like what he said in the title of his piece, a response. I think it is interesting that his art is about creating responses and getting responses. I really enjoyed Alvaro’s piece because of how interactive it was. It was not interactive in the sense of touching, but I was really able to see how the piece was created with how his gallery was set up. My favorite things about this piece was all the color that was present that contrasted with the white canvas and the use of classical music. I do not go out of my way to listen to classical music, but I do appreciate it when I hear it. Another thing I admire is how “graceful” the classical music is which contrasts to Alvaro’s somewhat “violent” movement on the canvas. Overall this piece was very interesting to study and I can not wait to see more of Alvaro’s overture work.

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