Efrén Álvarez (Barcelona, 1980) defines his work as being that of “a conceptual artist who has got rid of all the theatrical, object-based, and performative activities belonging to 20th Century showbiz” in order to concentrate, through drawing, “on the context where the conceptual finally arises: the imagination”. The result does not limit itself to a single idea, but instead produces a set of small actions, an accumulation of comments to be seen simultaneously.
His work attempts to analyse and understand the workings of capitalism as a network of interconnected entities. Businesses, political parties, the media, or social drives intertwine in a sort of cartography or framework that tries to clarify their relations. The references for these diagrams include statistical methodologies, truth tables, or ecological structures, combined with experimental symbols or drawings of a more poetic nature that tone down the scientific character of the pieces. The final result hopes not to merely elucidate these connections, but to position itself before them with a clearly political intention.
The other fundamental feature of these diagrams is the caricature, which stands out as a visceral and subjective element before the supposed objectivity of scientific diagrams. The drawings are dirty, very personal, yet full of references, some of which are obvious, such as those that point to comic books, while others are unique and singular.
These are mainly small-format pencil drawings that the artist has blown up to a very large format, taking on the characteristics of an installation in the exhibition space. While this allows for a strategy of maximum exposure and communication with the audience, it also leads us to question the notion of the original and of reproduction.
Efrén Álvarez (Barcelona, 1980) studied Fine Art at the University of Barcelona. A highlight among his solo shows was the project he developed for the MNCARS in 2011, within the programme titled Fisuras. He has also participated in group exhibitions such as La Capella (Barcelona), Centre d’Art La Panera (Lleida), or the new MNCARS (Madrid).