About the Artist
RF. Alvarez is interested in the act of artifact-making. Utilizing materials like raw canvas, earth pigments, and handmade papers, he develops a narrative that his pieces are somehow unearthed from deeper roots. With nods to Greek antiquity, pre-Colombian sculpture, archaic cave paintings - and his own mixed heritage - he aims to convey a blended visual style that is nuanced yet approachable.Alvarez has exhibited works in solo shows with Uprise Art in New York City, Martin & Brockett in Los Angeles, and the Commodore Perry Estate in Austin. He has been included in group shows like Plurality of Isolations at Ruiz-Healy in San Antonio, the Art of Paper Fair in New York, the Annual Report with Big Medium. His next solo show will be in October with Martha’s Contemporary in Austin, Texas.Originally from San Antonio, RF. Alvarez lives and works in Austin, Texas.
I see my work as a sort of excavation; an unearthing of historical references, a sifting of emotions and ideas, and a discovery of deeper longings. I’m interested in - searching for - those baseline experiences and sentiments that are innate to a wider human nature. My work is concerned with emotions like desire, contempt, struggle, elation, and perhaps most of all – belonging.I explore these sentiments through a range of materials including natural earth pigment, antique paper, painting, sculpture, writing. Often my process carries the goal of leaving something raw, undefined, or exposed. That could be a material like raw canvas peeking through the outlines of figures, it could be the grit of pigment built up and scrubbed into a surface, it could be the look in an eye, or the words in a phrase that shows a vulnerability or honesty.I believe that the shared root of our feelings and our sense of self are hidden, buried, and in need of sifting. And I think spoken language alone does not suffice as a tool for that excavation.