Jack Alvarez

Winter to Spring
Painting, acrylic/mixed on paper

Pushing that fine line between the seasons, the recycling of death and life, past to future, Winter to Spring is an observation.

With a minimal color palette, the composition divides the horizon, containing a multitude of symbolism, all elements placed and existing together.

Waiting and watching, they’re all part of an unspoken ritual, the cycle of life.

The symbols used, in most cases, hold multiple meanings; crosses randomly placed, as if bygone cemetery markers, or an old fence that may suggest containment.

In the foreground to the lower right stands a twig-like tree with small buddings of color, suggestions of renewed life from a passing on. Using red, the color of life carrying blood.

Below lies a burial wrap, affirming the past, present, and future to us all. Lower left, a scarecrow, totem-like figure stands watch, as if cautioning, forcing decisions by the viewer.

The bird figure poses as the mystical messenger, dressed in black, he always seems pressed to be someplace, always watching, watching the seasons slipping in and out.

The message here: “all things passing through”, ... “only passing through.”

All artists that try to translate an observation in an abstract way, will sooner or later be faced with the challenge of successfully interpreting a meaning. This is where the artist may choose to use the obvious, more easily recognizable symbols to carry the messages or venture out in attempt to create his or her own language.

Migration II
Painting, acrylic/mixed on paper

Migration II is part of a series of symbolic paintings that examine the mystical beliefs of many of our indigenous ancestors.

Many of the ancients spent much of their lives between worlds.

The bird, in many ways, represents a migrational creature, a creature with the ability to “fly.” Flight, also a term used among many shaman throughout the world while ascending and descending various realms of physical and spiritual conciseness.

Although this figure is not physically flying, it stands in cosmic flight.

This mythological form, adorned in a timeless regalia, is watched over by disembodied eyes, representing to some ancients, “seeing” with inner consciousness. Seeing, was necessary to understand when one transcended into spirit worlds, places where many pre-Columbian indios ventured to ask questions about life’s many mysteries.

The hummingbird-like form represents migration in a traditional sense but the form is a mere vehicle, a container of a timeless spirit. Cone shaped scopes serve as receptors and projectors to the world around it as it migrates through generation after generation, coexisting with its gods, in the cosmos.