José Alvarado is a first generation born in the United States from an immigrant family of Guatemala and El Salvador. He was born in Santa Monica, California and moved to Kansas at a young age. There he received his BFA in Painting and Drawing from Wichita State University and is currently finishing his MFA at the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art.


I am interested in how sensation travel through the framework of our perception to a state of boundlessness. A location where our mind is forced into a near transcendent sphere where logic and reason of an experience no longer take center stage, but rather the mind rises into a higher form of consciousness of the unknown. This embodying sensation is in lineage with the experience of the sublime. The psychological gap that is created in light of such occurrence I view to contain an order and chaotic nature. As a painter I drive the medium toward the rim of formlessness to provide a possible bridge into the essence of the sublime.

My fascination toward understanding the components of sensation were drawn by my upbringing in the Midwest. That is where the vast landscape provided an avenue to explore the relationship between scale and the magnitude of an experience. I view the physical world like a construct. The placement of streets, sidewalks and buildings create a kind of order for humans; however, they also act against the perpetuation of nature and limit our understanding of physical exploration. This type of tension is all around us—say for example, weeds protruding out of a cracked sidewalk. Our environment is a reflection on how our consciousness constructs its own reality, but our feeble attempts at repressing nature’s design can result in tension. I find this tension beautiful and ripe for exploration which influences the pictorial nature of the work to allude sensations of dislocation, stillness, and transformation.