A Greenwich artist/entrepreneur, Fernando Luis Alvarez, is returning to Saks Fifth Avenue at the Stamford Town Center with a delightful collection of art that’s highly appropriate for the upscale shopping mecca. (I’ll have more on that when I learn more.)
Alvarez’s gallery also opens Friday with a solo show of abstracts by artist Robert Wilson. We’re told that Wilson’s son, Rainn Wilson, will come to the opening. The younger Wilson is an actor who plays Dwight Schrute on “The Office.”
But it’s Alvarez who’s making it big locally. His recent exhibits have gotten some good press lately. Alvarez is also an artist whose trademark is his dramatic brushstrokes and renderings of full red lips.
“Alvarez and his lips are swiftly becoming a significant player in the main stage of contemporary art,” according to his own bio. It continues:
Born in Greenwich but spending his early childhood in Colombia, Alvarez returned to the States at age 12, and began developing his passion for art in his aunt’s bathroom, where he used her make-up as a medium for creating. After ruining one-too-many lipsticks, Alvarez turned his attention to paper and paint, and designed a full-scale mural for his elementary school. By junior high, the Bruce Museum of Greenwich featured his work in a group show. Alvarez’s talent juxtaposed with a rebellious nature when he was kicked out of art class in the same year he was voted “Artist of the Year.” This demonstrated a burgeoning love for challenging preconceptions, while simultaneously developing new perspectives. Soon after, he began cutting school to visit downtown NYC, where he met and befriended up-and-coming artist Keith Haring. For nearly two years, Alvarez would follow Haring as he tagged his famous works in New York subways. By his high school years, he began assisting a locally-acclaimed metal sculptor, who quickly encouraged Alvarez to enter his work in gallery juried shows. The Hurlbert Gallery of Greenwich and the Silvermine Gallery of New Canaan, Connecticut, quickly signed-on to the opportunity to display his art. Alvarez then went on to attend Richmond University in London, where he studied international business and finance. While at school, he held his first successful one-man art show in 1997, which he planned while interning at Merrill Lynch and studying as a full-time business student.
From the bathroom escapades of age of 12, to the years spent following Haring, to a career in international business and a life of travel, Alvarez always believed that the freedom to experience creates a unique world view that motivates his work as an artist. His incorporation of lush brushstrokes, vivid colors, and speed-painting technique is influenced largely by the work of Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Keith Haring, Basquiat, Warhol, Arman and Frank Stella, but retains a style and flair that is uniquely Alvarez.