Col­or­blind painter is color bold

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - South Broward - - ART -

Be­ing col­or­blind didn’t stop Car­los Ce­sar Alves from aban­don­ing a ca­reer in bank­ing to be­come a full-time artist.

Af­ter buy­ing his first apart­ment in 2006, Alves vis­ited the De­sign District in Mi­ami with a friend to look for art­work to dec­o­rate his new place. The paint­ings he liked were too ex­pen­sive, so he de­cided he would cre­ate one him­self.

“‘Are you crazy?’ ” Alves re­calls his friend ask­ing him. “‘How are you go­ing to paint? You can­not see color. You never painted in your life.’”

Alves has never thought of his be­ing col­or­blind as a lim­i­ta­tion.

“Noth­ing both­ers me more than when some­one says, ‘You can­not do that. Don’t do it,’ ” says Alves, who lives in Pom­pano Beach.

Nearly 10 years later, Alves, 51, has done more than 70 ex­hibits in the United States and abroad, in­clud­ing at Spec­trum art fair dur­ing last year’s Mi­ami Art Week. His next ex­hi­bi­tion will open Fri­day at “Art­pop!#ki­netic,” a pop-up art show at Pom­pano Citi Cen­tre fea­tur­ing more than 40 artists, dance per­for­mances and live mu­sic.

Alves paints ab­stracts with vi­brant, high-con­trast col­ors. He works in se­ries. His mixed-me­dia “Friends” se­ries fea­tures geo­met­ric shape­sand lots of red, yel­low, black and blue. “Moods” fea­tures grids, and plenty of or­ange and blue. He also does mixed­me­dia sculp­tures.

Be­fore mov­ing to Florida, Alves lived in Brazil, where he grew up. He dis­cov­ered he was col­or­blind at 11 when an eye doc­tor vis­ited his school. Be­fore that, his teach­ers of­ten spanked him for get­ting the col­ors wrong.


When: 6:30-9 p.m. Fri­day Where: Pom­pano Citi Cen­tre, 1955 N. Fed­eral High­way, Suite 104, in Pom­pano Beach Cost: Free Con­tact: 954-519-5500 or go to TheAmp­Pom­

As a child, he tried do­ing sculp­tures and ce­ram­ics, but never con­sid­ered paint­ing. “I never thought I was go­ing to paint, be­cause you have that lim­i­ta­tion that peo­ple im­pose on your­self, ‘How are you go­ing to paint if you don’t see color?’ ” he re­calls.

When Alves works, he la­bels his paints so he knows which color he’s us­ing. He also re­lies on his mem­ory.

“I know ex­actly which col­ors I use in each one of my art­works,” he says. “I can make a mis­take here or there.

“Some­times, peo­ple start quizzing me, which I hate,” he adds with a laugh. He has a fa­vorite color. “The only color that I can see some­thing dif­fer­ent is or­ange,” Alves says. “I think it’s be­cause it’s the hap­pi­est color for me. Al­most all my work is al­ways go­ing to have some or­ange.”


A paint­ing from Car­los Ce­sar Alves’ se­ries ti­tled “Friends.” His art will be fea­tured at “Art­pop!#ki­netic.”

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