Artist of the Month: Alexander Ferrar
- Sunday, May 1, 2011, 0:00
- 1 comment
Alex’s satisfaction and pride has come from his mission to promote the work of local artists.
The city of La Antigua Guatemala, apart from being one of the most frequented places by local and foreign tourists, is a source of inspiration and a showcase for artists who want to publicize their work. Although it is not easy to find opportunities, Alexander Ferrar has managed to forge his own way, and in turn has promoted local artists, encouraging their self-expression.
Alex is a self-taught artist. His first encounter with painting was when he was just four years old; a neighbor had a coloring book and Alex was so fascinated with crayons and coloring that he asked his mother to buy him one. That was when his mother replied, “I’ll have no son of mine coloring inside someone else’s lines,” and immediately gave him a pad of blank paper and a box of crayons to draw and paint his own ideas. After moving to the United States from the Bahamas, Alex began to be more interested in painting, watching Bob Ross (a famous artist from American television) and drawing and painting what he saw on TV. At the age of twenty-three, he started to realize his paintings could use improvement, and so began to spend a lot of time in libraries, reading about art and painting techniques, preferring to focus on self-study instead of formal training.
Alex came to Guatemala three years ago. The first challenge he encountered in Guatemala was the difficulty of finding a place to show his art as an emerging artist, where he was unknown and no one knew about his successful exhibitions in Europe and the US. That was how Alex got the idea to create the restaurant / art gallery, Sobremesa, where he could exhibit his art. However, he went further. Living in La Antigua, Alex has had contact with street artists, who painted popular landscapes of the volcanoes, the streets and antique doors. Alex has driven some of these local artists to demand more of themselves and has taught them to paint more personal and original pieces. He has also provided his restaurant as a place for these artists to showcase their work. During the interview, Alex told the story of a local artist who had never sold a painting in his life, but started selling four or five a month after being encouraged to paint different subjects. With the help of the restaurant / art gallery, eighteen paintings were sold in record time and for a good price, allowing this local artist to send his daughter to college.
Alex tells us that he has found and has achieved, with much effort, a good market for his paintings in La Antigua. However, he receives great satisfaction and pride from the strong following his restaurant and exotic ice cream shop have achieved from both foreign and Guatemalan diners. At the same time, he is also proud of his mission to promote the work of local artists, who find in Alexander Ferrar and Sobremesa a means to showcase their art to people who appreciate their talent.