I was born and live in Costa Rica, where alongside my wife the artist Melissa Matamoros we create together in our studio located at the foothills of the Talamanca mountain range in the southern part of the country.
I hold a master's degree in Arts from the University of Costa Rica, in addition to seminars and courses with guest artists and curators at Arte Teorética, San José, Costa Rica. My professional experience dates back to 1992, but from 1986 to 1991, I studied and practiced engraving in all its manifestations at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Costa Rica.
My favorite artists are two: Cy Twombly and Claude Monet, from whom I draw inspiration. My favorite piece is one called "Counter Idea," a work of my creation, which is in a private collection in San Francisco, California.
My work appeals to intuition and trust, arising from an initial idea where the painting guides me to the next step, giving rise to overlapping atmospheres with flowers, where some become transparent, and others are inevitably covered without leaving a trace.
"What I learned, I no longer know. What I still know, I know intuitively," is my maxim.
This so-called madness sometimes reaches multiple levels, and on average, between six hundred to eight hundred or more flowers are created in a single painting, of which only a few manage to be protagonists in the foreground, but all serve a purpose. The same happens in a garden, where not everything can be seen. As for the meaning implicit in each work depends on the emotion with which it is viewed, influenced by the observer's mental state. In most cases, it evokes astonishment, joy, beauty, or peace, and all of this is reason enough to continue.
"Álvaro, from his black and white paintings that wanted to be something else, seems to paint from the microscope. Today his viewers, his observers, know that the artist has entrusted them to inspect the stems, flowers, and leaves that he has accumulated to the point of multitude, with the almost electric power of a hypnosis session. His landscapes immediately reach critical mass, without going through a second or third experience: they are born, therefore, in a certain state of alteration, although they exude stability, and in them, so many forms of balance are summed up, from the cellular to the cinematic.
It is remarkable how Álvaro also practices a certain type of gardening on these canvases. He cuts, polishes, sands... he is capable of applying mechanical efforts to the most delicate organic matter, delimiting it, redirecting it. One comes to believe that, in these pastures, in these nurseries, a very skilled surgeon resides with the gift of mediating between water, earth, and chlorophyll. This kind of communication between creator and work – between being and object – places Álvaro Gómez closer to someone who exercises a mysterious control over the elements than to someone who only paints. I believe that for him, it is possible to say the word "poppy," and immediately a red flower appears, ready for retouching and to take its place on the scene."
The Sound of Water
"The painting of the Costa Rican creator Álvaro Gómez has been experiencing notable shifts in the structure of its expressiveness: he experienced the tectonic forces of terrestrial strata, lands, and sands, in a fundamentally material painting, where the strong counterpoint of transparencies achieved by clays, oils, and paper was evident. Later, he showed us another character of symbolic narrative when he made the rose gravitate, as if returning what was seen to an interior immersed in confusion. Nowadays, his painting becomes vibrant, synesthetic, provocative, with "audible" images of poetry sensitive to sight but also to the skin.
The observer before his paintings feels immersed in the flow of a purifying drift that bursts with the forces of the waves in many vortices before our pleased gaze and engulfs towards the interiors of color, rhythms, and, as mentioned, sonic reverberations, as they contain a soul moved by so much external chance - in the city that is not present in his paintings but is a character in tension with other spaces of the museum, with other themes exhibited in other rooms, approached in that web of sensorial-perceptive stimuli that, like vectors, intersect in all directions to excite our imagination and unleash emotions."
- Luis Fernando Quirós, Costa Rican curator
The Obsession to See
"... a suggestive variant of abstraction in Costa Rica... with an extremely poetic work that uses engraving and painting...
Throughout thirty years, I have been conducting an artistic research process that deals with elements that repeat themselves over and over again, such as stains, brushstrokes, texts, flowers, ants, circles, and lines, among others, which end up providing multiple readings. These can be interpreted as abstractions, landscapes, poetry, musicalization, or simply repetition, serialization, or the action of copying and pasting, arranging, disarranging, and crossing out.
This repetition is not fractal; it is not ordered but on the contrary, always disordered and immeasurable.
In many of the works, I erase or cover something to see it emerge by repeating itself or to see it arise as something new, like another path, a bifurcation, another option, or direction of route; nothing is ever the same, although it may appear to be. Most of these ideas take the form of paintings, engravings, some as assemblages, monotypes, drawings, texts, or animation.
And even though I thought I had control over my creative process, I realized that I was getting lost; the works took another path. Until I discovered that everything I have done has been under the influence and force of INTUITION.
The works begin with a provocation to the blank paper or canvas; then, this provocation is the trigger for another provocation that bifurcates, to which one desires to control by ordering and directing it like a route on the map. And although everything remains as a desire for an image that never arrives, it is clear that whatever happened was the best possible.
Finally, I continue with my work of elements that repeat and bifurcate, a creative obsession that always refers me to the present without time and only to prove to myself that I can continue creating despite my resistances. I incorporate a poetic language into the work to bring out a sensitivity that allows us to touch the sky, even if only for a moment."
- Tamara Díaz Bringas, Cuban curator