Colorblind painter is color bold
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 TheAmpPompano.org.
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.”