Artist: Alvaro A.S.F
Exhibition: A Response to Classical Music
Media: Acrylic, Film, Copper, Mixed Media, Music, Canvas
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: N/A, In Progress
Alvaro A.S.F is an undergraduate student at the California State University Long Beach School of Art. Specifically, Alvaro is in the sculpture program at the CSULB School of Art. He is pursuing a BFA degree and would like to become an art teacher one day. Alvaro’s work explores musical patterns and authentic emotional reactions.
Alvaro’s “Response to Classical Music” includes both a short film projected on the wall as well as a physical piece of work. In the video Alvaro lays down a canvas with cans of acrylic paint surrounding the canvas. Then the Beethoven piece Fidelio begins playing and Alvaro starts to move his body in response to the music. Along with his movements, he is dipping his hands in the cans of paint and spreading the paint all around the canvas. The cans of paint are made up of a variety of colors across the palette. The video lasts for about seven minutes, or the entire length of the Beethoven overture. The final result is a plethora of colors on the canvas along with a bit of copper pipe that was added on top of the canvas after the video was filmed. The copper pipe is curved and at thee three ends of the pipe are his shirt, pants, and one shoe; all of which he was wearing during his reaction in the video. Along with this there is another display of almost an identical scene in all white minus the copper pipe.
Alvaro A.S.F makes it clear that his response to the Beethoven overture is simply that a response, not a dance routine. The movements he makes with his body are what comes out when he hears this overture, during the filming he lets go of mental thought and lets his body do the talking. To create a true authentic response Alvaro did not listen to Fidelio much until the day of the filming and he also wore clothing out of his own closet. The total process of making the video took about three days. During that three day period Alvaro only slept about three hours, which also contributed to his raw natural response to Fidelio.
As soon as I walked in the exhibition I was very intrigued with everything that was going on. My initial feeling of the video was Alvaro had orchestrated some sort of routine but after talking with him I learned none of it was choreographed. In my opinion what brings A Response to Classical Music together is the set up of the exhibit and the video. The beginning of the video creates anticipation and shows the creative process of his response, which emphasized the rawness and uncut nature of his work. The addition of the all white scene added contrast, showing the power of Alvaro’s response to Fidelio. The exhibit displayed how Beethoven’s overture provoked an all encompassing reaction from Alvaro A.S.F.