Alvin Armstrong: Pretty Soon We'll Be Underwater
The centerpiece of Alvin Armstrong's newest solo show in Los Angeles is one of a jazz bass player, holding his head down, eyes shut, poised on the upright. It appears to be Charles Mingus. What it gives off is an element of movement and sound, even in its minimal and flat composition. It's moving with energy and seriousness. It reminded me of a moment in Alvin's interview with us last year, "Because the paintings are two dimensional and flat, I try to create the illusion of greater movement from my brush strokes. It’s extremely challenging to paint in such a way that the movement is grounded and proportional." In Pretty Soon We'll Be Underwater, there is both a representation of the body in flux and in movement as well as the simplicity of how much a portrait can contain action while seemingly frozen in time. That is a gift that Alvin has; everything feels alive. —Evan Pricco
Also of note in the show: Pretty Soon We’ll Be Underwater comes from a line in the song, “All These Changes,” by R&B soul musician Nick Hakim where he sings about the fragility of the planet and humanity’s course of action to save it.