Follow Follow Follow
Interview Assessment #4
Name of Professional: Jose Ignacio Alvarado
Profession/Title: Architect and Sculptor
Date of Interview: April 26, 2018
This sculptor is from Venezuela; he has been all over the world showcasing his art. What blows my mind is that he had the time to talk to me. He only spoke in Spanish, but because I already speak it and his daughter was there to translate anything, there was no need to worry. I was interviewing him for my final product. I wanted to know about the different communities he has interacted with.
Mr. Alvarado explained that to reach an audience in whatever country he is in, he needs to understand the culture. When one has a general understanding of another culture, they can sympathize and communicate with that culture. He went on to point out the differences Frisco has from Venezuela as an example.
Venezuela, Mr. Alvarado explained, knows color. It plays a large role in the way its people see the world. In Frisco, however, the focus lies elsewhere. I fully understood him; Frisco is filled with the same few colors: black, white-beige, red, and brown. From my time in Mexico, I remember seeing more colors than I could count. It was is one of the main differences I noted from when I moved here from Brazil. I am sure Mr. Alvarado was just as surprised as I.
Nonetheless, what stood out was his advice. Mr. Alvarado passionately spoke of how one’s community can affect his or her art. He explained that to create thoughtful and meaningful art, the artist needs to understand their community and surroundings. These stimuli reflect the way a large group of people may feel; one’s art should convey that in their art. Mr. Alvarado explained art should touch people’s sense of humanity and allow them to reflect on their emotions.
It seems so stupidly obvious, but it is something I have struggled to understand; all artist reflect their environment. People’s art, in whatever form or medium, illustrates an aspect of their society. One example would be the more abstract art that followed both world wars. Europe at the time felt lost and dispassionate. The art reflected that disillusionment and new-found cynicism in its careless and oftentimes absurd nature. In essence, we are all a reflection of our environment; albeit a dirty and misshapen one. Every person contains some aspect that differentiates them from their society, but regardless, that environment can sculpt the way one sees themselves and others when comparing their differences.
The interview with Mr. Alvarado was inspiring. I feel a sense of motivation I have been lacking in the past few weeks. Really, I want and ought to search for these general ideas and themes that are prevalent in my society and find ways to express them. All I really need to do is reflect on my emotions and attitude towards life and compare it to others. This, admittedly, generalistic approach will at the very least allow me to begin employing meaning in my work.
I am undeniably excited. I do not feel bound by technique or my environment; in fact, I feel as though I am beginning to understand art. Abstract art does not feel as “abstract” anymore, and expression feels like something I can relate to. Art is finally becoming something more than just a way to find enjoyment and comfort.
I can do more than bring myself peace; I can reach out and connect with people. I can communicate and share my ideas with them. I can invite them to question our world. Together, we can try to make sense of the often-confusing world we live in. I know it sounds cliche, but I get it. I get it. Not to mention, I want to converse and connect with people through my art, and the first step to doing so will be to begin examining my own life and environment. I can use my art to just that. To do so I need to continue following Ms. Vernon’s advice: “Paint. Paint. Paint.” and now also Mr. Alvarado’s “Follow. Follow. Follow”. Pursuing that consistency is key. Art is something more; I feel impactful. If not in anyone else’s life, then in my own. If I keep trying again and again, at the very least, I will know I have put my whole effort into what I love.