Friday, March 21, 2008

Interview with Douglas Alvarez

q) Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.

a)I'm a painter from Los Angeles, California. My father is a retired minister/missionary. My upbringing was alittle unusual, especially my early years as a preacher's son. Today, I'm pretty much a law biding citizen even thought I'm still at odds with few things things in society, for example, full-time employment,television, commitments,organized religion, urban encroachment, food products from big corporations and sometimes technology. I reluctantly bought a cellphone five months ago and now I can't seem to live without. It's a new unnecessary dependency.

q) Had you always planned on being an artist [or had you other hopes]?

a)When I was a kid, I had no ambition. I was content onplaying arcade games, skipping school, fighting and skateboarding with friends. I was horrible in math and had little interest inother classes. I drew pictures in my textbooks but never envisioned myself as an artist. Once I entered university, I decided to major in political science and apply to law school. When I reached a pivotal moment of committing to a law school, my heart begged me pursue art. I followed my heart and disappointed my family.I found stable employment as a graphic designer but my ultimate intention is to paint all the time.

q) Do you have a preferred medium to work on? Why?

a)I work with acrylics because it's water based. I dabbled with oils but had all sort of scary physical reactions. My favorite surfaces are masonite and wood because the smooth foundation for shading. My tools range from my fingertips to power tools. I use a jigsaw for my wood cutouts.

q) How would you describe your style?

a)That is a difficult question. I consider my style as neo-folk art with a pinch of impressionism and gently stirred in surreal art themes.

q) Do you go through any certain processes while trying to produce your work?

a)Not really. When an idea creates excitement,I start painting. It's a natural reaction. I usually have music playing and drink beer once in a while.

q) What are you working on at present?

a)I am preparing for my solo show at Monkeyhouse Toys and Art Gallery this April 19th. I am also curating a small group show to accompany my solo. The theme is Having Fun with Animals. I am also participating in the production of a children's book with Terri Tooter Berman and Ally Rossi.

q) What about recent sources of inspirations?

a)Lately nature and animals have become a major source inspiration. Bad, violent prone women continue to inspire me. My art has evolved further into realism so I'm observing my surroundings very closely. My new camera also turned into a source. I try to capture crazy scenes and situations life presents for possible ideas for paintings. Los Angeles is a great place tofind crazy characters. Once I saw a shirtless man wearing bright red pants while holding a cactus. He was singing and dancing on the street. That's free entertainment on the streets.

q) What are some of your obsessions?

a)Wow! Obsessions, huh? Besides painting, I am obsessed with the state of being free. I try to avoid commitments unless it involves art. I'm also obsessed with crazy quantum theories, the Lakers, the flow of positive chi and unexplainable lights in the sky.

q) Which galleries have you shown at and which galleries would you like to show at?

a)I continually show in Cannibal Flower Traveling art show and the Hive Gallery. Other galleries include La Luz de Jesus Gallery,Strychnin Gallery (Berlin),Monkeyhouse Toys, The Grind Gallery, Cactus Gallery,and MF Gallery (New York). The galleries I would love to show one day are CoproNason, Thinkspace, and Corey Helford Gallery.They provide magnificent space to display art and excellent promotional campaigns.

q) If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

a)Just e-mail me or contact me through Myspace. If you see me walking down the street, just say howdy. I'm a friendly guy. Oh yeah, I'm also in the phonebook.

q) Do you have any suggestions or advice for artists that are just starting out?

a)First of all, you need to find clarity over what you want out of art. If you simply enjoy creating art as a diversion, personal reflection or stress relief,that's cool and follow your joy. If you desire to one day support yourself as a painter, be patient, find your brush,remain fearless, evolve, heed constructive criticism and be punctual with shows and galleries.

q) Who are your favorite artists?

a)I'm a fan of Gustav Klimt, The Clayton Brothers,Basquiat, Van Gogh, Banksy and Mark Ryden. I once took an illustration class taught by the Clayton brothers.They were very inspirational teachers to me.

q) What books are on your nightstand?

a)I don't own a nightstand but I just finished reading Michio Kaku's PARALLEL WORLDS. I'm about to read Thus Spoke Zarathustra, by good old Nietzsche.

q) To what weaknesses are you most indulgent?

a)All you can eat sushi bars, Youtube and playing Battlefront on the Playstation.

q)...your contacts...