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Strangely Familiar \ Half God

Lauri Garcia Jones: Strangely Familiar I invent portraits of humanoid…

Lauri Garcia Jones: Strangely Familiar

I invent portraits of humanoid figures often depicted in difficult, unpleasant, and embarrassing situations. Through my work, I explore otherness and the heavy-hearted emotions typically associated with being or feeling different. Using felt, I combine the soft and inviting qualities of the material with the harsh and grotesque characteristics of my figures. This duality allows viewers to consider the darker narratives that often exist under the guise of a delicate fa├žade.

Bio

Lauri Garcia Jones is an artist born and raised in San Antonio, TX. She specializes in illustration, painting, installation, and photography. Jones’s work is heavily influenced by the vibrant color palettes and graphic styles of cartoons and graffiti. She uses satire in her work to make serious and sometimes taboo issues more approachable and relatable.

Jones graduated with a BFA from the Southwest School of Art in 2018. Her work has been exhibited throughout Texas and is included in both private and public collections.

Learn more about Lauri at www.lootachris.com

Albert Alvarez: Half God

My work explores the human identity with the body and the crisis that it creates. I am profoundly influenced by a seminal experience in my life, which turned me from an atheistic nihilist into a follower of the teachings of the Buddha. Practically word for word, his teachings were revealed to me during a mystical experience where I thought I had died. This terror of dying led me to the depths of regret and sorrow, but in an instant, that pain vanished. I entered the spiritual plane of existence and saw a reality more real than this one. Since then, I have not doubted that there is a spiritual reality, ineffable but manifesting in the mortal world. Hence, my work is aggressive and jarring. Difficulty and tragedy are where you can comprehend and let go of suffering. The first Noble Truth realizes this reality is insufficient in its temporary and decay-based physics. But this experience of lack and rigorous forces of susceptibility to loss are driving forces to seek spiritual salvation. Therefore, my paintings serve as safe places to contemplate the harshness and cruelty we subject ourselves to and reminders to seek spiritual salvation by acknowledging the power of the Buddha’s teachings. My compositions use the disjointed narrative structure of dreams and nightmares because this is how the mind reads into perception to find meaning. My imagery is influenced by Buddhist tenets and symbolism but given a contemporary lens. My technique is heavily inspired by the great Joe Coleman, whose virtuosity and vision have set the bar for human achievement in art.

Bio

Albert Alvarez is an artist who lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. His work and practice are inspired and greatly influenced by his local surroundings, intricately incorporating colloquial imagery capturing the culture and customs of the region, the creature comforts of the cuisine, and the notoriously hot and humid weather of the area that assist in his painting process. For Alvarez, there is no other place he would prefer on earth. The access to the internet makes knowledge of the world readily available to Alvares, allowing him to listen to a variety of media, from lectures by his favorite Buddhist monks, Ajahn Sona and Ajahn Punnadhamo, or research world history of the evolution of human civilization; along with an interest in home improvement and woodworking techniques available on Youtube.

Alvarez earned a BFA in Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006. He has since pursued his career as a full-time visual artist, chipping away at his elaborate paintings, which he compares to watching a house built from the ground up, preparation of the canvas, the foundation, and a pencil sketch, the skeletal frame to support the build-up of countless layers of paint. Alvarez uses acrylic paint and fine-haired brushes on various wood or masonite substrates, which provide rigidity and smoothness to apply his technique, producing a precise and vivid finish likened to the latest high-definition graphics in video games. Alvarez approaches his paintings like a general approaches a battle and makes the necessary adjustments to his strategy based on the tides of war.

Learn more about Albert at albrechto210.wixsite.com