Inside the Studio

Visit with RF Alvarez

Austin, Texas-based artist RF Alvarez takes us into his home and studio to show off his process, inspiration, and jealousy-inducing natural light.

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“Above my desk I have a random assortment of things: from inspiration to mementos, things I want to make into something else, ideas I want to come back to. I really want to start making masks in the Cave Painting style, for example. So there's a little paper concept up there. ”

— RF Alvarez

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“I have a sort of ritual when it comes to painting. I'll sketch and resketch a piece endlessly, a process that can take weeks or months. But once I sit down to paint, that's it – what happen happens. I spread out on the floor; brushes, water, ink, a canvas mat, the paper. I use a small vase to hold the ink, which was a gift from my friend Peter, who made it. And I'll finish it in one sitting. It's surprisingly a really clean process.”

— RF Alvarez

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“We don't have a lot of clutter in the house, most of the random little objects are gifts from people close to us. That cowboy hat hanging on the closet door was my grandfather's. He recently passed away. The kind of worn-in materiality of that hat definitely influenced some of my decisions for this most recent series. I like things that feel lived in, imperfect or torn or whatnot. You can see the impression someone made on them.”

— RF Alvarez

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“My studio is in the Cherrywood neighborhood of East Austin. My partner and I converted the second bedroom of our house into a workspace and I've basically taken it over with paintings and supplies and loose papers. The house isn't anything fancy, but it has really charming little quirks: worn-out wood flooring, old door knobs. It kinda leans to one side in places. And it gets a lot of great light most hours of the day. We love it. ”

— RF Alvarez

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