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Artist of the day: Claudia Alvarez

August 17th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Today’s artist is Claudia Alvarez, a painter and sculpture, who portrays children and through them the beauty and ugliness of humankind.   Claudia has shown extensively, most recently at Tugboat Gallery in Lincoln, NE.  Over the last seven years she has traveled extensively, living in Switzerland, Omaha, Shanghai, Mexico and France.

The children in Alvarez’s works form a microcosm of the adults they seem to be either mimicking or disobeying.  There is no doubt that Alvarez’s children do not represent the kind of glorified, bucolic youth so inherent in our culture. Instead, Alvarez depicts her subjects in moments of joy and innocence as well as in moments of anger, loneliness and grief.  What makes Alvarez’s work so striking and gut-wrenching is the controversial emotional context of her subjects.  Simply put, we are not accustomed to seeing children as part of the darker side of humanity, and it is exactly that jarring juxtaposition that makes Alvarez’s work so powerful.  By seeing “adult” behaviors and emotions in children, we are reminded of how fragile and cruel life can be.