As a self-taught artist, Frank M. Alba has developed a completely unique artistic style that seamlessly transforms ordinary subjects into something quite extraordinary and profound. His vibrant acrylic paintings are as imaginative in scope as they are laden with subconscious meaning. “Art is a way for me to translate my emotions into a visual form,” says the American artist.
Using bold colors and textures, he not only skillfully captures the essence of landscapes and objects but also instills in them a deeper metaphorical meaning that highlight all the various traumas that humans inevitably experience as they move through life. For the artist, art is first and foremost a means of catharsis. As he explains, “in the end, my paintings represent the moments that subconsciously impact one’s life.”
What is your first memory of interacting with art?
My earliest memory of interacting with art, I believe, is from around 1969. I was twelve years old and then attending a Catholic grammar school. I remember having this overwhelming desire to draw, even though at that young age I had very little knowledge of what art really is. I just had this passion inside me to express and I have never looked back ever since.
When did you develop your current style of work?
My current style of work goes back many years. I have always been drawn to the inner expression of the outward reality that we all experience. We go through our lives facing so many obstacles that we must overcome in order to reach the ultimate reality that defines us.
Your technique and style appear to have been developed as an expression of the thematic content of your work, what contributed to this development?
The technique and style I now use in my paintings were a circumstantial development. I had always only used brushes to paint at the beginning of my artistic career. However, several years ago, the owner of a restaurant in my hometown asked me to do some “decorative paintings” for him. In order to create something different, I decided to use only the palette knife. The technique quickly grew on me, and I have since been focusing my practice on it alone.
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What is your deepest source of inspiration for these works?
My deepest source of inspiration for my paintings stems from an acute understanding of the human condition. I interact with emotions and sentiments that we all face at some point or the other as we progress through our lives.
You are a self-taught artist. Why did you choose the medium of painting? Who were your biggest influences and why?
Since as long as I can remember, I have always believed that art is not something that can be taught. Of course, technique can be learned, but that passion and the ability to express oneself visually cannot be taught. It has to come from within. I did not choose painting, it chose me.
My biggest influences are not artists from the past but the people around me and the everyday situations we all experience.
Your exhibition at Agora Gallery in the Skylight Room of the gallery brings to light the compelling nature of your paintings. How do you feel about the outcome of the curatorial efforts that were used to highlight the thematic content of your paintings?
There are no words to describe the emotions I felt when I first saw my paintings in all their vibrancy in the Skylight Room. I stood there for quite some time, alone, thinking that at that very moment a dream that I had almost fifty years ago was finally manifesting itself into reality. It was truly an otherworldly experience.
I sincerely appreciate the efforts of Angela Di Bello and her team in making this exhibition a success.
Do you have a favorite from your works? Which one and why?
As much as I would like to pick a favorite from all my works, I just cannot get myself to. Each painting that I have ever created is special to me. Each one of them is a small part of my life.
Collecting art is a highly involving and emotional experience. The artist’s process and intention are some of the factors that make one fall in love with his or her piece. Learn more about our artists’ creative methods and fascinating techniques in the Center Stage and Artist Techniques categories.
Frank M. Alba’s mesmerizing works of art will be on view at Agora Gallery until January 18th, 2018. You can also view more of his works at his ARTmine page and read more about him on his Agora Profile.