Alvaro Naddeo is a Brazilian artist who fuses the effortless fluidity of watercolours, with the graphic and unique composition of the world’s discarded treasures. He creates a strong, probing voice from the remnants of a consumerist society which is ‘both desirable and despicable’.
Casting the viewer into a thought-proving twilight between creation and decay, Alvaro’s works are a stark criticism of a society addicted to waste, built on social inequality; and founded by greed. His paintings capture the spirit of a nomadic artist with an uncompromising view of the world. Originally from Sao Paulo where his artist father ignited a passion for visual creation, Naddeo has also lived in Tampa, New York City and currently resides in the city of Los Angeles. You experience a sense of this freedom as a viewer, with a varied scope of languages and cultures caught up in his complex colour palette: the result is humbling and cohesive. Being taken on a tour of some of the world’s biggest cities, via the back streets and dumping grounds, we not only find a grounding sense of obscure beauty in our litter, but an overriding sense of universal social responsibility.
“The subject matter of my work is waste, overconsumption and social inequality. Trash and objects found in the street are valuable, and not only for aesthetic reasons.”
It takes vision, and a unique eye to spot the commanding value in the objects cast to the streets. In a world where so much energy is channelled into the production and consumption of advertising it can be easy to take the same throw-away attitude towards this profound influence on our visual mind-set as we take to the products which they represent. The sturdy confidence and typographic elements of Alvaro’s works are the product of over two decades working in marketing. Although watching his father work as a child founded Alvaro’s thirst for creation, in his late teens he felt so overwhelmed by admiration for his Father’s technical skill that he felt he could simply not achieve the same level of artistry. This prompted him to pursue a career in marketing. Naddeo explains “I pursued a career in advertising as an Art Director, something that still allowed me to exercise my interest in art but without requiring mastery with the pencil or brush.”
After 20 years Alvaro found himself embracing the quick pace of New York, experiencing it’s stark contrasts and vibrant pulse; and as with so many great artistic voices, the city breathed new life into Alvaro’s neglected technical talent. The resurrection of his artistry has made him a determined and unashamed creator; and the confidence and complexity of a mature set of experiences sets his work apart from those less well-formed. Artwork which cries out to its audience and grasps them unapologetically by the conscience is work with stays with the viewer; which grows with the viewer.
“Trash and objects found in the street are valuable, and not only for aesthetic reasons. The brands, logos and packaging depicted in my work are objects with an inherent duality, both desirable and despicable, a clear byproduct of having worked in advertising for more than 20 years.”