Albert Alvarez: Every day is Halloween 

click to enlarge The Madhouse, 2012, acrylic on panel
  • The Madhouse, 2012, acrylic on panel

Albert, every time I see you, you're such a cheerful guy. You look like you're having a great time. Then I look at your artwork and think — maybe not. Are we living in a nightmare?
For the most part we live everyday unscathed, but there are always possibilities … I was going through documentaries about the mistreatment of people with mental disorders, locked away like prisoners. It makes you wonder, why does that happen? Why is there madness? I thought we were all human, capable of reason. Maybe they are shamanistic, but would you really listen to them?

Is art-making an affliction?
It's a positive thing. It's always there for you, helps you pass the time, stay out of trouble.

There is so much violence in your work. Why is that?
Appreciating life, I guess. You just don't want to see these things happen, especially on the preventable side. So I draw that, bring it to attention. I've always been happy, but I get real sad, too. Polarities, I guess. But overall, I think the positive overweighs the negative.

To see more of Alvarez's work, go to albrechto.tumblr.com.

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