“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
Aristotle supposedly said that, which is either very clever or just his way of throwing shade at still-life painters. It could be both of course and he figured he would kill two birds with one stone, or whatever types of animals they killed two of back in the day, probably sharks.
As far as quotes go about art, this one couldn’t be more fitting for me when talking about the work of New York based artist, John Alamo. What immediately struck me when I first saw one of his pieces was a very overwhelming energy, which happens to be one of the defining characteristics of his style: heavy brush strokes, scrawled writing and vivid colours carefully combined with black and white space.
Something to note about John Alamo is that he isn’t in fact John Alamo. In an interview with Boy-Cott Magazine, speaking on this character he has adopted in order to create his art, he says, “…most of the time I get lost in my dream reality, which I see as the real world […] I don’t know much about Mr. John Alamo or why I’m attached to this character. He’s nothing like me.” The man behind John Alamo remains to be an enigma, although in this case, the mystery maketh the artist and the artist maketh paintings you should look at on Instagram.
His ability to combine abstract form with traditional portraits and structures comes across naturally – nothing ever appears forced in what he is trying to achieve. These elements of his work are reminiscent of Basquiat and Franz Kline, although his style is very much his own and he has built a unique portfolio that one can say is unmistakably, John Alamo.
Whether you’re interested in learning more about the inward significance of things around you, or you’re just insecure about expressing your emotions, especially in front of all these people that seem to be around these days, then follow John Alamo and find comfort in his ability to express in paint what your words cannot.