Painted between March and September of 2020
Alavida: A Short Statement by the Artist
In March of the year 2020, we moved as one in mass exodus – from our living spaces, from our occupations, from our routines, and, most notably, from each other. This was a global phenomenon not unique to our community, yielding a moment in human history which is inarguably anomalous. When future generations ask me what it was like to live during this moment in history – which they will ask – what will I tell them?
This is the question which fueled my actions immediately following the onslaught of COVID-19. When I moved back in to my childhood home after abandoning my adult life, I wasted no time in upturning the order of my old bedroom, moving furniture and clearing out everything I could do without in order to turn my largest wall and the surrounding area into my new studio. I hung as large of a cutting of unstretched duck canvas cloth on this wall as I could and primed my new surface in my new makeshift studio, standing on cheap plastic tarp and scooping gesso from a tupperware. Six months later in September, I had completed the largest painting I had ever undertaken. My driving mission was to create a representation of the spirit of this time in history.
My subjects are figures, both human and geometric. I make reference to the famous golden Fibonacci spiral, using the form as a compositional “scaffold.” This scaffold holds up my construction of a series of square cells, each cell containing a figure or figures. I set about trying to represent a range of ages, genders, ethnicities, and personalities so expansive that every human on Earth could view this work and relate to at least one figure – this is a global experience, after all.
We are all spiraling together, united in an escalating, viral situation to which every human is susceptible, yet which is beyond any human’s control. To make matters worse, we are a house divided – we have been divided into disparate houses, rooms, cells, for our own safekeeping. In a bizarre twist, cells are also the only medium through which we are now permitted to connect with each other – in the form of digital screens, Facetime boxes, Zoom galleries, Webex panels, etc.
So, to address the aforementioned question – “What is it like to live during this moment in history?” – I provide as my answer Alavida, a painting in direct response to the historical six-month period during which it was born, grown, and completed by me, Michaela Jane Lozada, one of many displaced and isolated artists. I credit the title Alavida to my Filipina Grandma Luds: it means “still alive.”
Please take your time to process and enjoy Alavida. If you or any others have any questions or would like to speak to me for any reason, please call or text me at (732) 991-9799 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To view more of my work, please visit the rest of my website at michaelalozada.net.
I invite and encourage you to show my work to anyone whom you would like to share it with. All I ask is that you do not use any of my work to promote violence in any context, and that you credit the creator – Michaela Jane Lozada.