Peruvians that go about an ordinary morning routine may scoff at the idea of someone finding value in its documentation. However, that is exactly where artist Alfredo Alcalde finds the inspiration for his work.
Alcalde, a Peruvian artist born in Chimbote in 1961, who graduated with a Special Mention from the Escuela Nacional Autónoma de Bellas Artes, is currently presenting his work in exhibition called Eros y Tánatos.
Here, he transmits his very particular vision about life and death while human beings are portrayed as ordinary, affectionate people whose flaws and mistakes lead to the ultimate tragedy of suicides, terrorist attacks and lack of principles. Alcalde said that he finds himself of those people that are the subject of his work.
However, as Alcalde works to improve his relationship with the viewing public, he acknowledges that existence isn’t entirely made up of “ordinary” events. He sees his own works as a merger of “symbolic realism” with characters inspired by a “wave of expressionists” he come from and the “figurative artists” he now associates with.
That is why much of the exhibition is made up of striking colors and figures depicting poverty, nudity and indeed, life and death.
“My paintings in reality have a very [humble vision]; for us to find one another, in a climate of peace, prosperity, dreams and longings. The life of a human being should be respected in all its stages. As life and death have their cycles, they should be respected … greet the good works that human being do worldwide or locally and also to reflect on things that don’t do good and harm humanity.”
Alcalde said that his inspiration in documenting the lives of “ordinary” Peruvians fell in line with his place in a niche of figurative artists.
“Figurative paintings have a lot to do with how painters perceive, their impressions. That’s why I always recommend to young artists, to live. They have to have authentic journeys so that what they have to say will have meaning, otherwise they will have an art that will never contribute to communication and progress.”
Just as Alcalde sees himself as a forerunner of progress, he sees his own talent as progressing as a spectacular result.
“What you see here [in the exhibit] is to create a climate of movement, of life, and to create the positive and negative sides and include some color.”
Eros y Tánatos runs Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. and 2 — 5 p.m. at Museo de Arte del Centro Cultural de San Marcos, La Casona until October 10. Admission is free. For more information, call 619-7000, ex. 5207.