Artist Conversation (Wk 3): Alvaro Alvarez feat. A Response to Classical Music

Artist: Alvaro Alvarez

Exhibition: A Response to Classical Music

Media: Canvas, paint, music, camera

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Werby-Gallery

Website: In Progress (

Instagram: In Progress

About The Artist:

For this weeks Artist Conversation, I chose the artist Alvaro Alvarez–who, by the way, is extremely talented. His style of art clashes several medias (staring classical music) together in hopes to “create a response to classical music.” He states he is from Guatemala but moved to and grew up in Southern California at the age of 8, and he is currently attending CSULB’s art program BFA of Sculpture. He claims that growing up in a new country created an opportunity to be creative and express himself through other means than language and words. As a kid, he was always interested in shapes–observing, feeling, recreating, etc. However, he did struggle from the language barrier such as learning how to write, which he expresses in an own form of art in its own. But he still felt the need to explore art through other medias as well. He claims to meddle in the arts of photography, ceramics, printmaking, figurative art on canvas, and painting. He felt the need to create because it became, to him, a means of therapy. He does not consider himself a “full-time artist,” but rather he believes he is constantly sculpting his life as responsibly and creative as he can as he does not ever mean to offend anyone through his work. He started off his work by drawing, sketching, coloring, and observing; but upon the realization and observation that art does not entail just drawing and painting but rather art has many mediums, he explored that in his own way. In the future, he hopes to become an art teacher–a teacher who only encourages the freedom of our youth to explore their own creativities through mediums of their choice as he believes that these mediums have no limit as to what art is and how it is created.

What I observed about Alvaro’s A Response to Classical Music was first off the music. The music was the most significant to me. The chosen song Alvaro put as a part of his piece was “Fidelio” originally by Beethoven. I took the time to listen to the song, and it is a pretty strong and intense piece. I also took note of the canvas, paint, clothing articles, and the recording of himself in the creation process of A Response to Classical Music. I noticed that how he painted his canvas was through continuous body movements onto the canvas itself in response to the sounds of “Fidelio.” He calls his movements his own personal response to the song itself. He does not wish to call it dancing because, to him, that’s not what it is. His use of space could be translated into how he used a giant, blank canvas to transfer paint, which includes his use of color, through the movement of his body onto the canvas. It did not seem to me that the choice of paint colors for this particular art piece was important to him as he explained that it was all created in response the music. He also stated that the articles of clothing he uses in the creation process are always a part of the final piece as it is meant to highlight the spontaneity of his work.

As mentioned earlier, the artwork itself is about unscripted, spontaneous art which is created in a response to classical music. Also, Alvaro states that he hopes to create the same affect with his audience. He states that his art is a means of personal relief. He feels the need to create as a responsibility to himself and for others especially with interests in the kind of abstract art he often creates. He feels that his own response to the classical music he incorporated into his work was a means to also incorporate himself and personalize the art he creates. When I had mentioned how he feels as an artist in todays world with the various positive and negative stereotypes of how society views artists such as himself, he claims to embrace all views and stereotypes of society as it is a way for him to become a part of the world that he continues to inherit; however, he has his own views as well. He claims that he wishes to continue to create art in the hopes of creating reactions to classical music by those who are exposed to it.

What initially intrigued me the most about Alvaro’s A Response to Classical Music  was how abstract it was. The music, the recording of the creation process, and the finished product displayed all together really caught my attention. As I watched his recording, I simply assumed he was dancing in response to the music, but it was later clarified that it was not dancing. It was simply his body moving in response to the sound of the song as much as that sounds like dancing, Alvaro claims he wanted to show that there is a difference. The spontaneity of the entire piece was inspirational especially from the perspective of someone who prefers order, pre-planning, and detail. It was an inspiration to me. I really admired his love for art; and by art, I mean every form of art imaginable. He encourages others’ opinions and creativity. Following the interview, I watched the entire recording again, but this time with the knowledge that his movements were not dance but means of expression of experience without words or language but instead through his body alone. Overall, It was really great to watch and experience. How he takes a completely blank white canvas to his final product is amazing and quite inspiring.



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