Alvaro Naddeo is a brazilian artist currently based in Los Angeles. Urban environments he lived in have shaped his memory and permeate most of his art works: “The subject matter of my work is waste, overconsumption and social inequality. Trash and objects found in the street are valuable, and not only for aesthetic reasons“.
He worked as an Art Director in advertising for more than 20 years: “the brands, logos and packaging depicted in my work are objects with an inherent duality, both desirable and despicable, a clear byproduct of having worked“.
Following an interesting and inspirational interview with Alvaro Naddeo.
Where do you get your inspiration?
On the aesthetic level, I’m really inspired by everyday marginalized, urban, quotidian objects, and inspired by trying to find an angle or a composition where those uninteresting objects obtain a new and compelling beauty. I’m also fascinated by the natural decay of those elements, observing how everything loses its original color, shape, and texture, how sunlight, heat, rain, humidity wind and time add an organic and particular texture to them.
On a political level, I’m inspired by the opportunity to share my point of view of the world and to connect with people who think alike. Its very interesting to me to use art as an instrument for criticizing the things I see and disagree, like overconsumption, social inequality, programmed obsolescence and the consequence they have over the exploited third world countries, nature and planet as a whole. I’m compelled to criticize the insatiable greed at the expense of people who didn’t get the same opportunities as the lucky ones got, I try to use the little attention that I can get with my work and try to provoke a conversation about those uncomfortable issues that we usually try to avoid.
Which is the relationship and influence between your cultural background (country, studies, etc.) and your artworks?
The various environments I’ve lived have a huge influence on my work, I consider it to be very autobiographical. My daily observations influence my work in a very unconscious manner and as I moved from city to city I noticed that my visual vocabulary grew and incorporated new elements from those places. It’s interesting to combine what is universal with the very local. I have a lot of pleasure mixing the particulars, for example, you could find on my paintings a container that I saw on top of a truck on the Interstate 405 and inside of it, find a Duane Reade’s bag from NY, next to a sign that says “proibido estacionar” from São Paulo.
What are you much focused on?
Social Inequality is something that has bothered me my whole life. I was fortunate enough that my parents were always able to provide a lot more than needed, I never lacked anything, food, clothes, education, healthcare, love, etc. But from the age I was a baby until I was 12, I used to live in a middle-class street that was just one block away from a shanty town. I grew up right next to them but still separated, I remember feeling the existence of this huge invisible barrier, dividing us from them. My parents always taught me to be empathetic and compassionate, they were always very polite and helped people often. But you still could feel this gap dividing us and that left a mark on me forever. Later when I was 12 years old we moved to a high-class neighborhood and it was also shocking. It stills surprises me to this day how much many of the higher classes disregard the ones in need. Many of my rich friends believe that the miserable should be able to pull themselves out of poverty if they really wanted and tried hard. They are unable or unwilling to see the gigantic forces that keep making the rich richer and the poor poorer. That makes me sad and makes me want to talk about it, I want people to acknowledge that this is happening, that this is not fair or normal and that we all as a society are responsible for this.
Have you encountered any difficulties when you first started your art/freelance career?
No, I haven’t because it’s not my fulltime job. Its just a passion that I have and I don’t have any pressure to succeed in it. I’m glad that a couple of galleries want to show my work and I’m glad that there are collectors buying what I do but since this is not my career for the moment I don’t have to prove or accomplish anything else besides giving an outlet for my passion.
Over these years, what is the most important thing you have learned from your profession?
Practice is as important as talent.
Do you think that a creative job is just creativity or it’s discipline too?
From my personal experience, I can accomplish a lot more when I take it seriously and I’m disciplined about it.
Are you currently working on new projects?
I have been painting for my next show at Thinkspace gallery. Please come by on June 30!
“I’m really inspired by everyday marginalized,
urban, quotidian objects,
and inspired by trying to find an angle
or a composition
where those uninteresting objects
obtain a new and compelling beauty“
“I can accomplish a lot more
when I take it seriously and
I’m disciplined about it”
Artist Website > alvaronaddeo.com
Instagram > @alvaro_naddeo