By Ryan Holman
Originally published on Advocate.com March 02 2010 7:10 PM ET
Fine artist Alex Blas’s work is inspired by a range of subjects, but it was one of his recent commissioned works that made an impact on him.
“He was about 65 years old,” he says of the man commissioning a painting. “He bought china in Paris with his lover, who died 15 years ago. He approached me to do a commissioned piece of his china to remember his lover by. It was something they had bought together, and really quite touching.”
This week Blas and hundreds of other artists will display works that symbolize that same respect for love and equality at the Manifest Equality gallery in Los Angeles. The four-day event intends to be an intersection of activism and art, where artists can share their work and activists can mobilize to make changes on local and national levels.
“When you hear 'equal rights,' it's something everyone can agree on," says Blas, 33, who is in a committed relationship.
Blas has found his strongest expression in oil portraits and some still lifes, encompassing both modernism and classicism. He says he is inspired by classic and modern artists like Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol, and he likes to mix old and new elements in his work. His still lifes include the requisite (but luminescent) blooming flowers and ripe fruits but add fixtures of daily modern life, such as phones and car keys, perhaps surrounding a nude body reminiscent of classic European art.
In his recent “Friends” collection, Blas's goal was to capture life's most intimate and personal moments.
“I try to find beauty in everyday moments — people don't pay attention to those moments because they're routine,” he says. “But I think once they are captured people can identify with them and appreciate their beauty as I do.”
After the Manifest Equality show, his work will appear at the Wells Laing Gallery in New York City and then in the fall at Blends in Los Angeles.
For more information on Blas, click here.
For more information on Manifest Equality, click here.
Check out samples of Blas's work over the following pages.