Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandra Alvarez Medina.
Hi Alexandra, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started drawing from a very young age, I think I always knew that my destiny was the arts. I dare say that I’m one of the few lucky people who always knew her life purpose, although doubts have always been there. The “impostor syndrome” has played a very important role throughout this process.
I studied Illustration in one of the most prominent institutes in Caracas for being the closest career to Art, after being rejected at the Faculty of Arts of the Central University of Venezuela. At the Institute of Illustration, I learned all the skills and techniques that I use today. I feel grateful since it gave me the ability to make money very fast in the world of graphic design. Money has always been the factor that has kept me from my purpose; living from art is not easy, so we get lost easily doing any other hard labor jobs for money.
In 2015 I decided to come to NYC with the clear goal of living from art. Here I’m faced with the reality of the immigrant and how hard it is to start from scratch in such a competitive place, with a language that you are just beginning to understand. When I started to stabilize, I took up my brushes and watercolors, which I brought in my suitcase from Venezuela and started painting and exhibiting non-stop.
Today, six years later and after formalizing my undertaking with art, I am producing my first huge art event in NYC, “The Venezuela Art Fair,” where I can proudly say that we have been able to gather around 76 Venezuelan artists from all over the world to present their work in this event in person and virtual. I am blessed to have a team of talented Venezuelans who have supported this project day and night with the sole interest of making it successful. We have many Venezuelan artists who will come from the city of Miami to join us in this very important event for our community, which is breaking all imaginable borders with the help of the emerging technologies.
My company Guaicora Studios, has the mission to connect people’s lives through art. Art must be honored and revered every day; art gives us identity and history. I came to fulfill a purpose in life and that purpose is to keep the arts alive because, without the arts, our souls die. Today I can say that I am living the dream.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think that the main struggle of each artist is self-criticism; sometimes, we are so hard on ourselves. We whip ourselves thinking that we are not enough. It has been hard to understand that this is a career with many sacrifices; one of the biggest sacrifices is making decisions that affect your economy and your social life.
I have had many psychological struggles as well, however, art always brings me “back home.” When I spend a long time without drawing, I feel bad about myself, I have had to learn to be flexible and respect my own processes. It has been a path of great joy, but with moments of great pain, where external factors take you out of your way and purpose.
I also fight procrastination. If this pandemic has taught us something, it is not to leave until tomorrow what you can do today. That is why I launched myself with everything in these moments of uncertainty to create a space where we feed the soul. The Venezuela Art Fair has been the greatest reward after all the internal and external struggles that I have had to face during my artistic career.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My art has been transformed, as I have transformed. It went from being a bloody and dark art to being an art with a psychological maturity. Currently, it is an art of responsibility with the future. When I moved to the USA and after going through very intense processes in my life, I created my second series called: The labyrinth of my mind because I was in a psychological stage with no way out. Art saved me! At this stage, I began to develop a style that today I would say identifies me. I play a lot with repetitive lines and patterns that lead me to a meditative state. Lines and patterns that I use to honor my aboriginal roots.
Philosophical themes and processes attract me as a source of inspiration for my work. Currently, my central theme are the children. Their broken, unequal and scarce future, without liberties and virtual cages. It is up to us adults to reverse this dystopian future.
The Venezuela Art Fair is the most ambitious project of my artistic career, of which I feel proud. Feeling that I am doing something of great value for my Venezuelan community and bringing a message of hope to those who are still in Venezuela creates a spiritual satisfaction loaded with great responsibility. This project has become a platform to empower others to fulfill their dreams with art.
I believe that my identity as a Latina, my image of an empowered woman, the use of the vibrant colors of my Caribbean and the infinite lines that connect me with my aboriginal ancestors are the factors that most identify me and make my work stand out from the rest.
What matters most to you?
Currently, what matters most to me is leaving a legacy for my daughter, and I am not talking about material things. I want to leave her a legacy of tireless creation and infinite inspiration, a legacy where she feels proud to belong to the female sex and proud of the aboriginal roots of her migrant ancestors. A legacy of history and empowerment. I believe that we are in an age of many “false prophets,” where beauty is venerated over ideas. The technology, although useful and necessary, is leading us to a psychological jail of information intoxication, “we know so much that we know nothing.”
With my ideas and my artistic creation, I just want to leave value and content for future generations. It is a mission that I will carry with great responsibility. My ongoing project, The Venezuela Art Fair, arrived to begin to fulfill that mission that I have, bringing value to the arts of immigrants, honoring Venezuelan creators and giving hope to creators within Venezuela.