NELSON ALVAREZ

June 15 - September 15, 2010
santossalvareznelson@yahoo.com

  Nelson Alvarez like other artists have taken a familiar theme, the industrial landscape, drawings and paintings that illustrates an appropriation of its industrial and urban surroundings at his Bronx studio.
His artworks pay special attention to the smoking chimneys of massive factories, structures that rise like interconnected firing canons from war world II; resulting in a paradox, suggesting that the constant industrialization of our society and abrupt changes on the natural landscape can be seen as an environmental holocaust in a setting of desperate solitude. Perhaps, Alvarez makes a distinction between the interior and the exterior by the creation of an absolute disconnection linking the human, the individual person with the landscape.
It is possible that Alvarez and his art assume a roll within the paradigm of humanity in its evolution towards environmental change?   Or is only stepping on the sidelines to observe the continuing decay and the substitution of man by machine? Reason that he uses to justified the feeling of emptiness in its work.

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Nevertheless, this sensation of having nothing, of bareness, of denaturalization or a lack of hospitability in the landscape seems to be the vertiginous transition between the cultural provocation and the development of its images.  After all, Alvarez is a Cuban-born artist, an individual that in his youth was an environmental activist in his home country; therefore, the images are the result of an ongoing exploration of future and past memories. 
 Is evident that Alvarez’s art doesn’t respond to the nature of the aesthetics of today’s contemporary art, however, his artwork does engage in the discourse of the contemporary idea about a concepts behind the purposed artwork.  Since, Alvarez presents a body of work that documents the evolution and modernization of the industrial landscape, through an influx of repetitive visual information; bringing to us a philosophical reflection about the history of these structures and our relationship with them vs. our environment through the collective memory. Perhaps, his work is also a document to denounce the irrationality of humanity and its urge for super structures and industrialization without limits. 
In conclusion his works are an open book full of question about human development, industrial struggle and self ownership in a future that lacks a balance between nature and the industry.      

 

-Hernando Rico Sanchez, Kean Alumnus

Art Critic and Curator