FOUNDATION OF SYMMETRY AND COLLABORATION
Alvaro Flores’ tattoos are tangible extensions- of themselves, their messages and the voices of their receivers. Elongated across limbs and torsos in folds, they cascade down, under and over like satin sheets, hand- embroidered in Flores’ characteristic line and patternwork. Done mostly in black and grey, they spin designs like the classic mandala gorgeously out of proportion, all the while representing the spiritual connections humanity has found within the pure predictability of geometric shapes, and the unpredictable clues they might offer into the laws of nature.
I think the overarching concept that rings throughout Alvaro’s body of work is that of time and timelessness- how it tends to repeat itself and its quiet, weightless movements through the fabric of this place. The aforementioned geometric aspect is the core of his artwork, offering a foundation of symmetry and collaboration within the given image, and from there, the piece moves as if on its own, shapeshifting and curving into the body until there is no more beginning and no more end. This abstract element and attention to detail make for a trance-like tattoo, teeming with underlying themes of eternity and presence. Every tattoo, of course, has a more sharp and specific significance, but they have a similar effect on the space they occupy, filling it with a fragile yet certain harmony. Technically speaking, he’s a master of his medium, spiraling outwards from the heart of an image, with even the most minuscule of spaces filled in and ready to form something whole.
Like the ridges of a crustacean shell or the rings of a fallen tree, Alvaro’s visual interpretations do not balk in the face of time or its passing- rather, they become one with it, in a fluidity heightened by the sweeps and grooves of the needle making its mark. One pair of black mandalas, snaking along the sides of a neck, is an accurate example of that almost unassuming yet powerful paradox of Alvaro’s designs, which are so intricate they become a delicate thing, all while maintaining an intimidating inner wisdom. Half- hidden by the hair and bottom half of the woman’s face, the mandalas are louder in their mystery than they are in their beauty. Another piece, this time a double- forearm design, looks more like a spontaneous burst of inspiration than a meticulously planned composition, and it serves as an example of how untainted trust between artist and client can produce a result surpassing perhaps both of their expectations.
Working out of Melbourne’s La Flor Sagrada Tattoo, Alvaro Flores has instinct; a refined sense of what flows, and an original interpretation of unity. The result is a largely unrivaled style centered around the way time passes through an image, leaving soft ripples in the still surface of a healed tattoo.
[+] ALVARO FLORES