Pedro Diego Alvarado: Recent Paintings

Essay by John Phillip Santos

Long rows of majestic grey and pale green magueyes rise like sentinels out of strips of brown earth in a eld the color of mustard, the whole vista glowing under a pearly blue, clouded-over sky. Then, what would seem to be an ordinary arrangement of sandía picada suddenly takes on the appearance of a ritual setting, perfect pyramidal slices arranged atop uncut watermelons in a circle that might be markers in a secret calendar that records passing moments in cosmic time. With these escenas, all from paintings in the great and growing oeuvre of the contemporary Mexican maestro, Pedro Diego Alvarado, we are in the presence of extraordinary acts of trans- forming witness, a practice of painting that invites the viewer to participate in this artist’s rare esoteric connection to the presence of the natural world, teeming with life, harboring hosts of unnoticed patterns and codes, a seemingly in nite archive of meanings that promise epipha- nies of beauty, wonder, and ine ability.