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Work Samples

To Pass Blindly Through Transparencies

Oil on canvas, 48 in x 48 in, 2017

Looking Too Closely

Oil on canvas, 156 in x 68 in, 2017

In the State of Presence

Oil on canvas, 108 in x 68.5 in, 2016

Walking To Infinity

Oil on panel, 27 in x 12 in, 2016


About José

Baltimore City

José Alvarado's picture
José Alvarado is a second generation born in the United States from an immigrant family of Guatemala and El Salvador. He was born in Santa Monica, California and moved to Kansas at a young age. There he received his BFA in Painting and Drawing from Wichita State University and his MFA at the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art.

Bridging the Gap

The sublime, a gap, to transcend, infinite, presence, stillness, peripheral, dislocation, sensation, formless, embodiment, a drift are terms I use to scratch the surface toward my journey of contemplating who am I in relation to this vast landscape of the internal and external. The paintings neither locate themselves here nor there, wanderers in their own existence, stretching, colliding, dissolving, reflecting, gazing… an absence of breath with eyelids wide open.

Layers of pixelated memories like sand in the ocean tide, a solitary walk, candle light through an empty beer glass whose residue shimmers at the rim… temptation of a drop. Frozen snow of winter, smoke of lungs, cracked blades of grass, melody to the ear, cold to the lips, to fall – to rise as a bird in the coming of spring.

To ponder in symmetry, unfolding a bridge of reflection, into the dimension of magnitude, penetrating the edge of our lens. To wake up, to be still.

Motion, to drive, anticipation of the horizon. In search of the line of the divine. To be seduced in beauty, to transcend into an echo of desire.

Transformation in a cup.

A drift toward the infinity, a fog, the familiar, the unknown. The passing of a gesture, plastic membrane, chipped paint on rusted metal, spotlights on the surface, brushed water in a windy day. The galloping sound of fallen leaves in autumn.

A dance for the wind, a symphony for the heart.

Poetic they stand firm, vibrant in color, bridging the gap toward an event, to experience, to suggest a state of presence, to meditate.


I know not the resolution of the painting beforehand and instead meditate in the rhythm of the journey. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.”

To hike one's thoughts toward a state of solitude. To be embodied, to be dissolved in formlessness. To enter dislocation, to be free of thought, to ponder.

The beating drum of contemplation. Bittersweet residue.

Summer heat, Kansas

Elevation gain, Albuquerque

The golden yellow of sunflowers, Baltimore

The hum of circulating rubber

Salty gaze, tired eyes

Fatigue of distance

The white butterfly of youth

Submerged veins, drought of water

A memory of ocean tide at sunset

Santa Monica.

José's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.