Change: Watercolor Paintings
The subject matter of my work is waste, overconsumption, and social inequality. Brands, logos, and packaging are depicted both as desirable and despicable objects in my work, the result of having worked more than 20 years in advertising.
This series of paintings titled “Change” explores the themes of urban poverty. Although rats, cockroaches, loose change, and panhandling signs evoke squalor in this context, I consider trash and other found objects from the street valuable. I’m fond of contrasts, real objects morphed into unnatural or unrealistic compositions, and gritty textures against minimalistic and ethereal surroundings. The juxtaposition of these elements enhances their respective attributes. A human presence is felt through certain details, without actually seeing a person.
Each painting is a square, and when arranged as a group, a pattern of squares invites the viewer to alternate between macro and micro observations. The repeated cardboard background is the stage and frame for each of the chapters and holds the whole story of the series together.
Alvaro Naddeo is originally from São Paulo, Brazil and has also lived in Lima, New York City, and currently in Tampa. Urban environments shaped his memory and permeate most of his work. He is partly self-taught and partly homeschooled. His father is an illustrator, and as a kid Alvaro spent many hours drawing and watching him work. He was a constant source of inspiration and encouragement, but having an artist father also proved frustrating at times. At 17, Alvaro remembers comparing his work to his father’s and thinking his drawings and paintings were not good enough. He quit. He pursued a career in advertising as an Art Director, something that still allowed him to exercise his interest in art but without requiring mastery with the pencil or brush. 20 years later, while living in New York City and being exposed to its many contrasts, his desire to pick up the brush intensified. Now he is back to painting and this time he’s not quitting.