something of interest in our art community

We are surrounded by many fine artists some modest, others only known to their immediate friends. and the largest percentage go unnoticed.  Here is an article I share from a art source, i subscribe to, link provided below.

While Held by US Immigration, an Artist Sketches His Fellow Detainees

Artist José Alvarez (D.O.P.A.) talks about the 30 portraits he drew while detained at the Krome Detention Center in Miami. The drawings, accompanied by each subject’s story, are on view at the Boca Raton Museum of Art.

one of five images from the article. Many more grace the walls at the Boca Museum

one of five images from the article. Many more grace the walls at the Boca Museum

José Alvarez’s drawing of Orlin “el Pajaro” (bird), Honduras, Krome #318, Blue, 18 years old. Orlin came to the US to escape gang violence, crossing Guatemala in one day and one night on a bus. (all images courtesy the artist and Boca Raton Museum)  In An Honest Liar, a 2014 documentary about magician James Randi, the narrative shifts to his longtime partner, the artist José Alvarez (D.O.P.A.), who was charged with living under a false identity. Born Deyvi Orangel Peña Arteaga, he fled Venezuela in the early 1980s. “It was a very violent environment for gay people,” he told Hyperallergic. “I had guns pointed to my head by the military police.” When his US visa expired, he obtained false papers, thinking it would be a temporary situation. It wasn’t — he’d been Randi’s partner for over 20 years when he was charged with identity theft. He was eventually detained at Krome Detention Center in Miami, where he spent two months in 2012.

one of his gost drawings

one of his gost drawings

He fell into a deep depression upon his incarceration, sleeping for days at a time. It was Julio, a fellow detainee who’d come to the US from Brazil, who encouraged Alvarez to draw, instructing the artist to sketch his portrait. This temporary balm to his despondent heart transformed into a project, Krome, now on display at the Boca Raton Museum of Art.    ………………….

installation at the Boca Museum.

installation at the Boca Museum.

The images line the walls of the space, a row of unblinking eyes that are often tender or harried. Panels next to each drawing indicate the subject’s name, country of origin, and, below, their story. Then there is a section dedicated to Alvarez’s “ghost drawings.” “I started drawing these incarcerated men and then they were taken to be deported,” he explains. “I have no name or country for them. But it’s not as if they don’t exist. That was kind of the point of this: to declare their existence.” At the exhibition’s entrance, there’s a bright, colorful painting of swirls and butterflies; entitled “The Promised Land,” it’s the first piece Alvarez made upon his release.

The article goes further with an interview by the author of this article Monica Uszerowicz.

About Lake Worth Florida by the moment the source of inspiration

A former Unite Press International photographer. Spent 9 years with Cruise Ship Photos of London. Moved to Lake Worth from Coconut Grove, with artist husband Fred Hunt. Never leaves the house without a camera. Writes another blog "One Ear Society" dealing with the ins and outs of the art world. Closed her Art Gallery in Coconut Grove after 17 years to relocate in Lake Worth.
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