Alvarez comes to New York following two major museum acquisitions; the Swedish National Museum and Röhsska Museum both recently added his works to their permanent collections. And despite the unconventional nature of his practice, it is deeply entwined with traditions of Swedish design. Alvarez only arrived at RCA after pursuing traditional cabinetmaking training and a degree in Interior Architecture and Furniture Design at Konstfack, Stockholm’s University College of Arts, specialized in crafts and design.
One can’t help but sit on one of his stools or chairs without examining its making—which is exactly what Alvarez hopes will happen. He sees them as “a snapshot from a film which has been stopped, but we could play it backwards or forwards.” Indications of the elaborate creation process can be seen in the works—especially with the addition of paint. “I add pigment into the glue to make it as a paint, so when the thread gets wrapped and glued onto the pieces, it also gets dyed and colored. The pieces have an imprint of color on them.” He adds, “When we’re holding them, we also have the paint and the pigmented glue on our hands, and you can see the traces of our movement around the pieces, which I kind of like. It makes the process quite transparent.”