Chris Alford, Faro Member Since January 2008 Artist Statement The Alfora paintings in Portugal started with those work completed in 1998 of megalithic monuments in the Alentejo. From 1999 to 2001 he expanded the theme to include images of other regions in Portugal. At this point, using scenes based in the Alentejo and the Algarve, the style gets progressively more abstract. This leads to the painting entitled "Casa Oriental" and the introduction of the use of Chinese newspaper as collage. From this came the abstract group of paintings entitled "Chang´an" which means "great peace". The splendid new capital of southwest China, built in 582 by the Sui dynasty, Chang´an was totaly destroyed by war in 904. Using old Chinese newspapers, in collage, I produced four paintings based on this ancient city. Then I turned to the subject of other destroyed historical cities.. History is - "little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind" Edward Gibbon - 1776 - (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) The continuation of this process resulted in a large series of paintings based on ancient civilizations. This work extracts colour and form from place, with a single repeated icon or object type appearing within each piece of work within the subject group. The majority of the work was completed in 2002 and the theme was finally phased out in 2005. What started as a hobby in mid life for Alfora lead on to an honors degree in Fine Art at Staffordshire University with further studies to Masters level later. He had representation at exhibitions in England in locations such as Manchester Academy, The Royal West of England Academy, Royal Festival Hall and The Barbican in London among others. Very much influenced by the discovery of J M W Turner in the Tate gallery, London. Influenced by the study of light, of which Turner was the master, the work of Alfora is complimented by a palette based on the colours used by Rembrandt, Delacroix and Bonnington. Brought into this, through studies based on derelict buildings and a continuing interest in architectural structures, is the depiction of line and structure of buildings within a field of colour. The breaking of the boundaries came with the discovery of the work of Raul Duffy and John Piper which, for Alfora, brought brighter colour through which the subject takes on a translucence allowing the viewer freedom of interpretation. The move from semi-representational landscape to abstract symbolism was a natural one. The later work of Alfora symbolically represents ancient historical places in an abstract manner. From this developed the more abstract work of the last few years which forms the bulk of recent exhibitions. The use of paint and collage produces a vibrancy of colour and form which relates to the imagery and culture of the places which inspired the work.
He has had a number of individual shows since moving to Portugal and was a founder member of “Blank Canvas” a self-help group of painters that worked from 2001 to 2007 with other artists to exhibit and promote quality art work. The group had a history of exhibiting with other professionals which included Antonio Couvinha, Jessica Dunn, Valerie Bornand, Costa Pinhero, Vincent de Brito, Guilherme Parente, Pedro Pinto Coelho and José Delgado Martin. Over this seven year period they exhibited widely in the Algarve and also in other regions and countries. Alfora now concentrates on painting and showing his work on the internet .