Wk 3 – Artist Conversation – Alvaro Alvarez Salazar

Exhibition Information

Artist: Alvaro Alvarez Salazar

Exhibition: A Response to Classical Music

Media: Video, Paint, Music

Gallery: CSULB School of Art: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: None at this time


About the Artist

Alvaro Alvarez Salazar is a creative and inspirational artist. He is currently in is second year of CSULB’s School of Fine Arts. Although he is in the School of Fine Arts he hasn’t decided definitively what area he wants to focus on, and is still explore the different types of media. Alvaro is originally from Guatemala but he moved to the United States when he was a child. He has always been creative and art has helped him with his transition coming to a new country. Art has help him throughout his life and he hopes to one day become a teacher and teach others art in hopes of inspiring them as well. 

Formal Analysis

The piece is called “A Response to Classical Music”, and it truly is a response to music. This response comes in the form of an experience for the viewer. The entire piece consists of four parts. The first part is the blank white canvas that is set opposite of the second part which is the black and colored canvas. Both canvases have items set around them that show the viewer what the scene looked like when the piece was created. The black and colored canvas is full of different paint colors and is very messy and free-flowing. The black and colored canvas also has a piece the white canvas does not, which is wiring with cloth and shoes on it, which represents the artist in a moment in time. The third part is the actual video of the creation of the piece that is playing on the wall between the two canvases. The video is shot with a point of view that is looking down on the whole process. The video is a very loud and engaging experience because it allows the viewer to be in the room while the piece is being created. The music that is being played is Beethoven’s Overture Fidelio, which has many rises and falls throughout it. The fourth part of the piece is the actual video player which is surrounded by different tools and is splattered with paint.

Content Analysis

Through my conversation with the artist I found that Alvaro was trying to respond to the music as purely as he could. He didn’t prepare any dance routines or choreograph anything, he simply felt whatever the music was making him feel. When he is creating art he says that he tends to act first. By this he means that if he has an idea for a piece he acts on it and does not try to over think it or get lost in planning all of the details. Through this pure expression, I think he was really just trying to see what his response would be to Beethoven. In a sort of translation from sound, to movement and canvas Alvaro was able to show the viewers how the music made him feel and what his experience was. Because Alvaro is still exploring the different avenues in art, I feel that the piece acts as a reflection of how he is exploring and trying to feel and respond to different types of art.


Synthesis/ My Experience

The piece spoke to me on a few levels and it reminded me of life and the natural world. I see the two canvases on opposite sides of the room working as a kind of juxtaposition. The white acting as the beginning of life, civilization, or any process. It is clean and neat with so much potential to absorb and take in color and life. The black and colored canvas acts as more of the end result of a life or process. It is full of different colors, experiences, and has gone through a tremendous amount of change. The actual change it has gone through is seen in the video and it tells the story of how this final product was obtained. I think it was the music that really makes you feel and is what makes the whole piece work for me. Because of its various rises and falls, it reminds me of all of the things that have led me up to this point in my life. Each note, splash of color, or movement act as a different person, event, or decision I have made in my life. Although the result it a bit messy it is full of color and experience which has made it, in my eyes, alive.


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