Montevideo-based sculptor and painter Alfonso Reyes’ journey to becoming an artist was informed by a fortuitous encounter. In 2019, he met the Catalàn artist Joaquin Santaló and joined an artistic workshop he was offering in Barcelona. Two years later, he’s one of Uruguay’s most exciting emerging artists, crafting surreal, bold works that evoke Basquiat and Karel Appel—non coincidentally two of his idols. Read Alfonso’s interview with Trobat below, AND SHOP HIS EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION OF PIECES ON TROBAT.CO FROM 28 OCTOBER 2021.
My main discipline is painting and sculpture, but I like to explore every field of visual arts. Since I was a child I considered painting as a way to express myself, and when I turned eight years old I started my first art lessons in an art workshop called “Patio Biarritz” dedicated to painting and sculpture.
The breakdown of my artist career was in 2019 when I met a Catalàn artist, Joaquim Santaló, and I took part in one of his workshops. I began to assist every day at the workshop located in the neighborhood of Gracia, in Barcelona, and I was inspired by his work. Some time after, I sold my first piece, then I made my own studio, and since then my artistic career has continued.
I’ve always admired a Uruguayan artist called Jorge Peaz Vilaro for many reasons: the colours he uses, the topics he proposes and the resolution of their characters. I also have to mention Joaquim Santaló, my first art mentor. And there are other artists who inspired me too: Karel Appel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Henri Matisse.
My studio is located on the east coast of Uruguay, in a place called Punta del Este. I have been there for two years and its natural surroundings, its proximity to the beach, its size and the natural light it has, make it the perfect place to get inspired and make great pieces.
As an architect, artist, and sport fan there are some characters that I really want to get to know: Marcel Brauer, Rafael Nadal, Jackson Pollock, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier are some of them. The perfect main dish would be milanese with potatoes.
Italicise Paris, Texas and L’Ètranger from Wim Wenders was the last movie that really shocked me. Their performances, the scenarios and the main theme made me think a lot about different aspects of human relationships. L’Étranger from Albert Camus his first novel is a masterpiece that analyzes the absurdity of human actions and the real meaning of life.