Artist: Alvaro A.S.F.
Exhibition: A Response to Classical Music
Media: Paint, Mixed Media, Installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: In progress
About the artist
I had the privilege to meet with Alvaro A.S.F, from Guatemala. He is an undergraduate transfer student, and the first in his family to further his education. He attends CSULB and is working toward his BFA degree in the School of Art’s Sculpture Program. After graduating, Alvaro would like to become an art teacher, but he is unsure about the age group he would like to teach. His interest in art derived from being “good with his hands” as a little boy and has chosen to continue his curiosity to explore the world of art.
Alvaro A.S.F. had his artwork displayed in the Marilyn Werby Gallery at Cal State Long Beach. His series of work is called A Response to Classical Music, in which the title speaks for itself. Alvaro videotapes his whole process of his art project and shares it with the audience at the gallery. In the gallery, there are two canvas in opposite directions of the room and he also has music playing in the background; the introduction of Beethoven Overture Fidelio. One of the canvas is plain white, decorated with white buckets and white clothes. The second canvas has a variety of bright colors that are different shapes and streaks painted onto the black canvas from his body movements. He also included metal wires, shoes and pants that are painted on, and one white bucket onto the second canvas.
Alvaro’s artwork is a response to the introduction of Beethoven Overture. Alvaro completed this project in a span of three days(in one take), and claims to have slept for roughly three hours. Accidently, he heard this song on his ipad just once, and later chose to respond to it for his art piece. Alvaro loves that this song has no words to it, that “it’s just raw.” He feels like not many people listen to classical music very often, and decided that the music’s interesting sounds would suit his project best. Alvaro chose this music genre because “there’s interesting rotations” that were able to be portrayed. Also, he feels as if the different colors he uses in his artwork introduces a new language for his audience. At first, Alvaro’s initial reaction to his finished project was that he did not like it. He second doubted if he saw any potential in it. After positive feedback, he concluded that his art piece stays true. He decided to include his everyday clothes he painted with, so his finished art piece can still have truth to it. Alvaro hasn’t received many negative responses. The only one he can recall is that his art piece is a dance performance. Alvaro strongly disagrees with that interpretation, because he believes that it’s simply a response to classical music with no expectation. He feels like a dance performance has expectations associated with a specific movement, and this artwork does not have any expectations to it. Alvaro decided to have two canvas exhibited because he wanted his audience to see the before and after process.
Alvaro allows his audience to respond and interpret his artwork the way his audience pleases. When I first walked into the gallery, I was not sure on what I was supposed to be feeling. I did not know how to interpret it, until I actually talked to him about it. After knowing that his work was a response to classical music, I interpreted his work as anyone being able to have a response to just about anything, whether or not that person is conscious of it. I really like that he included a video and musical background, so the audience was able to visualize exactly how his canvas came about. Seeing the video reminded me of my cousin and I choreographing dance routines to our favorite songs when we were little girls.