University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Art

School of Art Galleries

Jesus Sanchez-Alvarez

Embellishment Intimacy

Creating a sense of intimacy with natural forms and ornamentation is the driving force behind my pen and ink drawings and watercolor paintings. My definition of natural forms encompasses plants, human beings, and animals. Studying the diversity of organisms on our planet evokes within me an attraction to fantastical and other worldly imagery, such as hybrid beings. In my view, a hybrid being is a living composite of multiple life forms such as fairies, centaurs, and angels. I view nature as an enchanting place, and I seek to magnify this perception through creating new types of plants and creatures.

The presence of ornamentation in this work represents the extension of the natural world beyond where it ordinarily grows. As a result, many decorative components take on organic shapes. Ornament in these renditions can be found on the vestments, architecture, wings, trees, plants, and seeds. The large, decorated, egg-like shapes are the seeds which bloom into elaborately designed plants. The nature in these settings grows upon the playing of musical instruments found in the series’ universe.

By combining nature and ornament, two different visual dialogues emerge. The realistic representations of life forms communicate spontaneity, as nature grows unpredictably. On the other hand, the decorative components embody repetition and idealization. Thus, I seek for my work to be a union between realism and idealism, as well as spontaneity and recurrence.

MFA 2023 Thesis Exhibition