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Alfonso Alzamora Profile Work Biography  




Alzamora Studio


Mediterranean Edge

The square is a theme that occurs frequently in my paintings. My "Cuadrado Rojo" and "Damero Rojo" (Red Square and Red Chess board) series in the 1990s came about as a direct consequence of the constructivist paintings I was doing towards the end of the ‘70s and the beginning of the ‘80s. Even in my most figurative (and expressionist) work, the formal structure of the square is behind most of the images. The "Anonymous Heroes" are synthetized faces that have a quite circular aspect, and the circle and the square which contains it (or is contained by it) end up being the same thing. The "Menina" is the only human figure I know of which is square, it is as wide as it is tall. And all of my two and three-dimensional work on this subject center on this strange, formal structure.

What I like most about the Menina is her archetypal femininity. The fashions of the period, the crinoline and matching hairstyle, transform the feminine shape into a powerful icon, with those oversized hips which remind us in some way of ancient fertility goddesses. Earth mother, firmly grounded, crowning above all other creatures.

The definition of femininity acquires an unusual forcefulness when the base area of the figure is equal to, or even greater than its height, (this despite the hairstyle´s attempt to "square" the image, aided by stylised wide-sleeved costumes and baroque ornaments to "fill in" the upper area). The final result is so graphically powerful that many artists have adapted it to suit their own style, whatever that may be. One could even talk of a new iconography with its own original hallmark, like still-lifes, nudes or seascapes.

From Velasquez´ Las Meninas to Malevitch ´s square – anything might happen.

The "Damero" is made up of a range of small squares contained within one large square to create a games board where man’s intelligence — i.e. the very thing that makes him a rational being- may be measured. This "game territory" is a metaphor for real life and what one can make of it, and the emptying out of one of these squares into a sculpture of aluminum, which I did in 1999, creates a perfect cubic space, symbolizing that absolute (and therefore unattainable) truth that the player seeks.

I have always been proud to talk of those artists which have influenced my work, and there are a lot of them, because I believe art is like a river, each and every drop of water owes its being to a previously existing source and is also a promise of whatever follows. All artists have their points of reference, and I am no exception. The Italian Quattrocento, Velázquez, Goya, Vermeer, Cézanne, German Expressionism, Russian Constructivism led by Málevitch, the Bauhaus, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Kahnweiler’s cubism, Picasso, Miró, the New York School, Gorky, Rothko, de Kooning, Rauschenberg, Oteiza, Chillida etc. These are all points of reference common to many artists of my generation. The thing that distinguishes one artist from another is what we make of this information, which is available to all of us. Also, other, more subtle things influence us, some of them very personal and other general influences related to our surroundings. I believe that my work is strongly influenced by the place I live, which is close to where I was born. This little corner of the Mediterranean has a very special type of light which fills everywhere with sensual, and peculiarly beautiful, colors and shapes. It is a place where I can be myself.






Artists Represented