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Alfonso Gálvez - Belizean Artist
"Left to the Wind
(Cedar, mahogany, rosewood,
1½' long by ½' wide by 2' tall)
Alfonso Gálvez is a Belizean farmer born into his profession. Country life he loves best. It's the unique setting for everyday life and natural exercise while being productive. As a thirty-four-year old farmer, he's a jack of all trades, ready to improvise if necessary. He is a farmhand, cowboy, machine operator, farm animal tamer, and fruit tree planter. He's a carpenter, environmentalist, believes in the scriptures and the respect of others. He might seem a bit extreme in his art, but he's a normal man, making mistakes and doing not-so-good things. He recognizes and gives importance to what happens around him.
Alfonso taught himself to make saddles in 1989. This was the beginning of his sculpture hobby, though he's been doing a little joinery since age fifteen. He began serious wood carving in 1996.
Gálvez strives to make that bold step into Belizean space and prove that innovation and willpower are basic social necessities. He believes there is a time to follow, a time to absorb, and a time to start producing art. New ideas then become a stepping-stone to a future.
He believes in capturing the spirit and movement and imposing subconscious forms to make the realistic impression of a subject. An airplane, may, for instance, be a fish. Art is just a deeper understanding of resources in the world in general and a quest to understand its mysteries.
(Mahogany, 2' long by 1½' wide by 1' tall)
Gálvez believes that the world is a masterpiece: "...it took six days of divine knowledge to shape it. If only humans would see it as that and care for is as should be done a masterpiece."
His love of wood is like original sin: he was born with it. He says it's a divine gift and makes art because it's part of his programming. He never gave importance to his gift but found it's his true identity no matter what else he does in life. Life does has a purpose, even if it's just living for some people.
Gálvez battles internally with his own thoughts of the world: "If destruction could be balanced with the Earth's natural recuperation capabilities it would be a better world. But would it mean fighting against Nature's laws? What then is the source of life, of Nature? Evolution and scripture may therefore not be antagonists but truthful answers and only two of a series of truths that basic human nature cannot understand concerning our origin."
Alfonso Gálvez' work has been on display at the Bliss Institute in Belize City, and at the Museum of Belize in Belmopan.
Return to your hosts, La Clarissa Ranch.