Artist: Alvaro A.S.F.
Exhibition: A Response to Classical Music
Gallery: Merilyn-Werby Gallery
Website: Currently working on one. He does have an email, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share it.
About the Artist
Alvaro is an undergraduate working towards his Bachelors of Fine Arts at California State University Long Beach. He is currently a student of the School of Arts, Art History program at CSULB, and hopes to later get his teaching degree so he can teach art at an elementary school. He said he wants to give the freedoms of art to kids. However, he did also say he’s not really sure what he wants to do after he gets his Fine Arts degree, so his decision on teaching is not 100% certain at the moment. He said he’s just “doing now”, and will decide what he wants to do when he finds out eventually. He also previously attended LA City College before transferring to CSULB.
When it comes to medias, Alvaro basically uses all kinds. He enjoys doing figuratives on canvas, ceramics, sculptures, and dabbles in the occasional photography.
Alvaro titles his work as A Response to Classical Music, in which he covered his body and clothes in paint, listened to a classical song by Beethoven, and used his body to apply his reactions to the canvas to create, what he dubs, a sculpture-painting. The finished product is quite the spectacle with, at first glance, random paint splashes and markings on a large canvas. However, with a closer look one can notice the different layers of paint, and from that deduce at which time he created certain markings. When you compare that time to the musical piece, you can mark his exact reaction. Similarly, all his limbs and clothing create distinct paint strokes on the canvas, and at certain times you are able to tell which part caused which marking. Very interesting stuff.
Alvaro’s sculpture-painting is his reaction to a song. He said he tried to come in as a “blank slate” and then reacted to the music through his movements. All music causes certain reactions in the listener, be it emotional or physical, and Alvaro converted all of the reactions into physical body movements which he recorded on canvas. It is a way to explore music and look at it from a different perspective. He said he has done another one of these sculpture-paintings previously, except to Mozart, and it was raining at the time so it created interesting effects. I would like to see that one. He also plans to do more of these in the future.
Synthesis / My Experience
I thought Alvaro’s sculpture-painting was very interesting. As a natural science major, I kind of looked at his art the same way a geologist might look at the Earth. The same way a geologist can notice patterns in layers of earth, one can notice different layers and patterns in the paint. He first began with a blank canvas, and as the music piece progressed along with his reactions, layers of paint began to build up. With a close inspection, one could actually see layers of paint and where the colors mixed, leaving you hints to which order of movements he performed. By the way he laid out on the canvas, the paint markings closer to the edges of the canvas were no doubt caused by his feet and hands, whereas the middle of the canvas was mostly caused by his torso and upper legs. Then when you get a general idea of the times at which he performed the actions, you can pair them up with the musical piece and see which parts of the song caused which reactions.
It also reminded me of those computer programs (like Windows Media Player) that will create colorful, explosive light shows based on the different frequency and volume of sounds of a song. That or a firework show, where the fireworks “react” to the music. But that’s different, because it’s all choreographed, unlike A Response to Classical Music that was all reactionary.