Alex Achaval’s Portraits Integrate Found Objects

by Andy SmithPosted on

Alex Achaval, a Seattle-based painter, often adheres wooden paint brushes or other objects to his canvases before beginning portraits. The artist said this idea was sparked when he spotted a truck painted to blend into a wall. “I like to incorporate these objects into my work to represent the obstacles we have to overcome in life,” Achaval says, in a statement.

“Blowing in the steam” and “Freeze,” above and below, are two examples of how the artist implements brushes, toying with values and the shapes of the tools. “Dani’s darlington oak” adds a tree air freshener to the mix; “Hurricane Jean” uses a metal zipper. Each of these paintings allow the object determine the size of the canvas.

Achaval owns a gallery in Seattle called Artificial Gallery, occupying a space in Pike Place Market. Achaval is currently part of the Directors Choice Group Exhibition #2 at 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace in Australia. The artist says you can usually find him at a Value Village or Goodwill, rummaging for new mixed-media elements.

“I try to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer to make new personal associations,” Achaval says. “I believe that is what art is all about.”

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