Derek Alvarez Self Portrait As A MonkeyNew York City - Derek Alvarez's encounters with racism and violence in his youth drove him to explore the reality lying behind the outward appearance of things.  Alvarez selects disparate characters and styles from comic books and pop culture to transform their meaning, the comical nature of his art acting to sublimate the negativity surrounding him.  “I remember lots of hatred and violence on television as well as in real life,” he says, “it made me look inward and create a better world in my mind.”  But in this artificial world the hostility that spawned it often manages to unwittingly creep in.

Alvarez playfully composes but his interest lies not in overt storytelling, but rather in how an image may impart meaning to a viewer on an individual level.  A bold, finished look is achieved by using acrylic and enamels in an approach more graphic than painterly.  Alvarez received his BFA in 2004 from the University of Arizona and has been exhibited frequently in Tucson and Scottsdale.  He lives and works in Tucson. Alvarez’s work will be on display at Agora Gallery, 415 West Broadway, starting August 25th.

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Pause For Thought

Picasso on Art

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."