Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Geometer's Secret

A Geometer's Secret AA11

Alberto J. Almarza

First Levitated Objects

First Levitated Objects

Early Torisian historic depiction of vessel used in the innitial levitation and suspension experiments of the Engineering Era.
Courtesy of the Mystery Libraries of Torisia
Nov, 2011


Artificial Planetoids

From the Mystery Libraries of Torisia, these innitial studies on levitated artificial celestial bodies and the engineering of controlled atmospheres, planetoids, planets, orbits and other living systems.

Fractal genesis of a tree

Planetoids AA11
First planetoids: experiments in levitation and geomorphic grids

Cartography of Torisian planetoid development

Sphere Limit 1 AA11
"Sphere Limit 1"
Iterations of alignment on the 12 point sphere surface

Platonic Solids and other geometric forms

Studies of platonic solids done in compass and straightedge using graphite, tea and wax on paper.

World Within a World AA11
"World Within a World"
Dodecahedron inside subdivided Dodecahedron

Ripples 1 AA11
"Ripples 1"
Concentric circle-packing on the Icosahedron

Ripples 2
"Ripples 2"
Concentric circle-packing on two imposed Icosahedra

Ripples 3 AA11
"Ripples 3"
Concentric circle-packing on Stellated Dodecahedron

Pyramids AA11
Sub divided Stellated Cuboctahedron

Alberto J. Almarza


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Geodesic sphere study

"Wrapping my Senses Around a Geodesic Sphere"
Incorrect stereoscopic image of shadow overlaping a pencil-drawn geodesic sphere, homage to Buckminster Fuller's Synergetics



I havent posted in so loooong! But just so you cant say I've been slacking, I've brought some art with me to show you.
Here is a diorama room I created in october as a special commission for a friend...

It took many hours of work and lots of fun. The creation of rich contained worlds has been a passion and pursuit of mine for many years now.
Here is a "behind the scenes" image of the photoshoot which took place inside my "Moss Bed Valley", an indoors moss bed in my home studio.

I like to build a world in detail. I enjoy it so much. I am fascinated by the layers of depth that can emerge from a world or space or environment once you look at it at close range and pick appart its possibilities. And so in this project I added many layers of details, so that there would be mini artworks contained within the artwork; worlds within worlds.

For example, I made this abstract mixed media painting to hang in the back wall:

Mini Painting (2)

here's a detail:

mini painting detail

And in the library I added cool things, like this replica of his kid's drawing...


...and this portrait done in pencil from a wedding picture.

mini wedding portrait

But one of the funnest details to add, was this hidden miniature book...

hidden book

Mini book 1

I call this book "Illustrated Imaginary History of Energy and Matter"

Mini Book 3

mini BOok 2

Thanks a lot for visiting my little world, hope you enjoyed!

Mini room view


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Magic Troll at Trolly Dolly House

Trolly Dolly Ave

A little Troll Dollhouse I made for my little sis, Rosita.
It's a bit like something I wish I had when I was a kid, complete with removable accesories!

Trolly Dolly Accesories

Trolly Dolly Rosi

Trolly Dolly Flowers

Trolly Dolly Apples

As of my Other Artwork,
much progress,
nothing to show.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Art Out of the Box Southside

My AOB residency is now over.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Sam McDonough for her amazing vision and hard work to make this project happen; and for making a part of her artwork that of supporting other artists.
I also want to thank Michael McFadden for his support and awesomeness.

Keep an eye on: for the 3 upcoming residencies with amazing local artists creating artwork in a neighborhood near you!

On site, I constructed and installed a total of 13 Mini Sites in the corner of 12th and Carson.
Here is a selection of stereo images of the main sites (I like using stereo pictures because they come a little bit closer to capturing the three-dimensionality of the actual pieces.)

"Paper Boat Site 1"

"Paper Boat Site 2"

"Clothes Line"

"How to Fold a Paper Boat"

"Three Chairs"


"Chess Game"


"Park" detail

"Salad Bowl"

"The Cave"

"Pond 1"

To get an idea of the context where these live, and to see the public's interactions and reactions, check out this last of the photo videos:

Mini Sites 3 from Alberto J. Almarza on Vimeo.

I had a truly wonderful experience working in (and out of) the box; and plan to continue hiding more miniatures in the streets of Pittsburgh.
I also have a renewed interest in furthering the dialog with the public, building community and conversation around art and its great power to...
put a smile in someone's face.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Art Out of the Box

Check out what I've been up to!

Art Out of the Box residency in the Southside, creating miniature semi-permanent site-specific installations hidden in the vicinity of 12th and Carson....

The goal of the AOB project, is both for the public to be exposed to the PROCESS of creating art, and for artists to engage in dialog with the public. This has been my focus for the past couple of days, and I still have 3 more to go!

Come visit me in the Southside!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paper Boat Dreams

To entice you:
The scale of some of the featured objects in the videos that I'm about to show you:

Mini Paper Boat

(if you dislike contemplating little tiny things, might as well quit now.)

I made two videos this weekend that I am pretty happy with. In a way, they are preliminary sketches on something I am building upon, but they also work in their own way.
In my last blog, I was talking about entryways into a dimension that is very much parallel (and same) to our own, yet hidden. I also said that I enter such places through my work.
It is my hope with these videos to share an example -of sorts- of how this might work. It has to do with zooming into things up close, things or events that are simple, that go unnoticed and are usually taken for granted. These things and events are everywhere (they are everything), and because of this is that we ignore them. In the worlds that I make, rules of reason and behavior are "different" (hence Other Space), hoping to highlight the fragility of our judgment when perceiving reality.

Paper Boat Dream 1 from Alberto J. Almarza on Vimeo.

Paper Boat Dream 2 from Alberto J. Almarza on Vimeo.

The videos and related work are also a revision of my usual exploration of worlds, and worlds within worlds. For my Art Out of the Box residency, I am planning to do something similar, making mini scenes and secretly encasing them within crevices of the South Side.
(This should be really fun, stayed tuned on that project, which has already completed one residency...)
Thanks for haging out and watching the vids!
See you next time.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Visionary Chamber videos

I recently created 2 new videos (more like image collages) of 2 older artworks called "Visionary Chambers". They are miniature assemblage box dioramas, 14 of them so far. These boxes are immersive. They are created for individual viewing, so they are elusive to photograph. I am reluctant to talk much about their concept, as this changes for each piece and it is usually quite elaborate. In general, I conceive of them as contained "realms" similar to that which I have found in dreams and visions. Part of the goal of these works was to give such elusive dimensions (half-imaginary-half-hypereal) a concrete form, without loosing some of their intangible qualities.

Visionary Chamber 5: Wizard's Table

Visionary Chamber 6: Blue Chair

I admit this one is a bit creepy, but it was inspired by a true event: a rather unsettling yet very powerful experience related to my real-life exploration with the aforementioned realms. In a description from an older (2009) video of this box I wrote: "It is inspired in a series of mind-experiments were I launched from my blue living room chair, out of my body, into Other Space. There was a scary gate-keeper there which is depicted in this video. He and his whole family offered me a tea party and by then I had forgotten who I was. I almost stayed there forever, but fortunately I remembered my earthly existence just in time, and returned".

I now refer often to Other Space, which can only be described or depicted in metaphorical ways. I believe many others have described and depicted similar places, popular examples of which are Wonderland, Neverland, Narnia and many others. The mistake is to think that these are solely imaginary places, not realizing the metaphorical and liminal essence of the reality that these stories insinuate. There is something about the existence of a parallel world (right below our noses) that is a reocurring theme of many stories throughout the world. I believe, by means of personal experience, that such stories tell of a journey that any individual can undergo, but only once they have found an entryway. Falling in through a rabbithole or an old closet, entering through a crack on the wall or the crevice of a tree, crossing a mushroom ring, waterfall of mirror; these are some of the preferred methods ;)
But there are many more ways in which the persistent and seeking soul will find such delicious portals. For me, it is through my work.
Sweet Dreams!


Sunday, April 17, 2011


Some images from a work in progress called "Realm of Humazuma".

On a recent statement about this work I wrote:

"The body of work I am currently focusing on is another collection (or a conjunction) of objects, scenes and dioramas along the lines of previous bodies such as “POK Mummy Sites” and the “Visionary Chambers”. Like these works, “Realm of Humazuma” is an experiment in physicality, meta-physicality and the aesthetic experience. The work is being created mostly on paper, using paper, clays, pigments, ink, salt, sand, balsa wood and other materials. Much thought has gone into visualizing the work’s progression into a more immersive presentation. For now, humazuma is only a world in progress".

"Humazuma is a deity originally described by my six year-old son. Its realm is that of impermanence, natural cycles, ritualistic objects and arrangements; all interwoven through desolate island/desert/landscape/shrine scenes. Humazuma is, in a general sense, the God of flowing water, clay, erosion, vessels, markings and patterns, and certain specific man-made interventions, such as “alignments of things”. In its domain are objects such as sidewalk cracks, flower pots, clotheslines, holes, shadows, and dimensional portals. There is a fundamental simplicity in the surface appearance of the Realm of Humazuma, which allows me -and the viewer- for an easy entry, plenty of open interpretation, mystery and discovery. It is perhaps through the eyes of my son that I have recovered a desire to not take even the simplest of things for granted, to not put words on things as much, and just absorb them fully and openly as they arrive. This might be the most important consideration if one is interested in dwelling with the aesthetic experience whatsoever, is to not over-rationalize it".

Thanks for hanging out!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ouroboros Basket

Ouroborous Basket

This is a Mandala I recently made to promote my upcoming class "The Art of Mandala" going on this summer of 2011 at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. It depicts the Ouroboros serpent, a cross-cultural symbol that has always fascinated me, and currently plays a synchronous role in certain aspects of my work. Mandalas are an amazing thing, always unpredictable and profound, simple and complex! If you are interested in the subject, I highly recommend Carl Jung's "Mandala Symbolism", and of course, taking the class! Thanks for stopping by! AA11

Humazuma Island

Humazuma Island AA11

This is a T-shirt design I created for Sam McDonough's "Art Out of the Box" project, involving 5 different artists in 5 different neighborhoods creating art on site while engaging people in conversation. It's a sweet project happening this summer of 2011. For more info visit the official website.

The drawing is called "Humazuma Island" and it was "distiled" from this set of drawings from my sketchbook:

Humazuma Islands AA11

Humazuma is a Deity created by my 6YO son, and it is the primary God of these particular realms. I showed these drawings to my 6th grade students, and they spent a while navigating this world with their fingertips, talking about it in detail. I was fascinated. If a child can truly enjoy something I have made (other than dessert), then I am happy. There is simply no better art critic than the honest-minded and temporarily-pure children!



Face Coins!

This is an exciting and informal work I've done a couple of years now, during New Year's eve at my good friend's cabin in the woods; and I plan to continue doing this for as long as possible. It is a ritual of sorts, yielding these interesting objects we call Face Coins. Face Coins AA11 On the first day at The Cabone, outside of Everett, PA, we find the suited clay from the surrounding forest grounds. It is key that the clay is found there, and not bought at a store or brought from somewhere else. This is what gives the Face Coins a proper body. Then, for a couple of hours, the clay is tediously processed and prepared to ensure it has a basic minimum plasticity and is able to withstand the rest of the process, including an intense firing. Once the clay is prepared, we have one hand-sized ball of workable clay to play with. Each person takes a pinch or two and begins to make their own Face Coins. This is what gives the Face Coins a soul. This part of the process is open ended, allthough most of the coins (not all) have a general "faceness" to them. Then, the coins are immediately but slowly dried in the fire and thrown in to cook (a process which many potters would argue against, but I've had no problems with it). Intense fire The fire is taken to an extreme temperature and allowed to die over night. The next day, a fun ceremonial "unearthing" of the coins from the ashes is performed, and everybody contemplates the results. Ian Unearthing Face Coins Face Coins Unearthed And that is when the funnest part begins: Each person takes a coin or two of their selection, and proceeds to hide it in the surrounding premises! Star Face Coin Already after two sessions, the site is rich in these mysterious archaeological artifacts and everybody just LOVES to find an occasional Face Coin here and there. They give good luck! Special Face Coin Every coin is different and special. Some coins have firing imperfections, or natural growth or erosion; or a particular feature that makes them "collectors items", such as the one depicted above, which was affected by ceremonial Copal that was tossed into the fire. Other collectibles include (but are not limited to) "Joel's bearded Face Coin", "the first coin" "the half-face"(which was accidentally stepped on and was the first to enter the 2011 fire), and "the penis". But everybody knows what to do if you find a Face Coin (unless you really really like it), which is to hide it right back in the very land that saw its birth. art in a tree They end up under rocks, in tree holes and crevices, and who knows where else?! I found a face coin!! "I found one!!" AA11

Visionary Chamber 14: "Rose"

In light of the fact that I haven't blogposted in so long, I decided to catch up by posting a number of latest artworks/projects I've created, all at once.


So first, I'd like to share a piece called "Rose", the fourteenth in a series of miniature assemblages I call: "Visionary Chambers" (footnote: the goal with this name was not to sound pretentious, but rather to make a distiction to the original name "Vision Chambers", as "visionary" should invoke something more than just an optical effect, perhaps implying a certain archetypical or liminal nature.)

The box is about the size of a rubics cube, with a magnifying glass attached to the front to enable the viewing of the particularly tiny assemblage that lives within. For a sense of scale, it should be noted that the fairy depicted is shorter in height than my pinky fingernail.


The piece was created as a present to a 12 YO family friend who, during a white elephant celebration, won my "gift certificate for a personalized commisioned artwork". She is a very exceptional little lady, very mature and witty, and I was very exited to work with her on deciding what artwork I'd make for her. She now happens to be one of my students!

So we started talking, and as she was already familiar with the work that I do, she didn't hesitate to ask for a chamber (I couldn't credit many of my other clients to such smart descicion, as the chambers are among my most praised -and pricy- pieces!). She also told me about things she was interested in, themes, colors, etc.

The piece is called "Rose" after her, and she was very happy to receive the final commisioned artwork... a year after!

But the wait, it seems, was sure worth it.