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"Too Cool For School," a new body of painted and sculptural works by artist Douglas Alvarez. Too Cool For School explores Alvarez’ experience in the Public School System and growing up in Los Angeles through the humor of popular iconography. Addressing the beauty of urban sprawl with its strip malls, nature, and the role humans play visibly or invisibly in this environment. He is able to garner a feeling of timeless nostalgia and complexity of emotion in the simplest of elements and spaces.

Douglas Alvarez employs a number of techniques to achieve his desired result. Viscous paint applications through palate knife are reminiscent of textural walls, while his brush application delineates the fine detail of a glazed donut or the abstract scrawls on a piece of line graph paper. The color palette Alvarez uses is inspired by fugitive hues of early photos, best represented in his historical figures, or the muted tints of institutional environments.

Douglas’ use of typographic buzzwords such as: answers, special, smile and today, in their simplicity, describe his elements with a humor and dichotomy, allowing the viewer to come to their own conclusions about their association. The newest media for Mr. Alvarez is the inclusion of assemblage. He utilizes these three-dimensional aspects to build another layer to his array of textures and colors, a comprehensive exhibit that’s definitely Too Cool For School!


Photo ©2010 Anselmo S. Ortiz