Throughout his artistic career, Alex Alferov has built a vision that combines his fascination with the abstract and his love of representational forms – such as the wide-ranging expressiveness of the human face and body. The graphic strength of his street portraits has made his work highly recognizable within the L.A. art scene.
Alferov consolidates regional and international influences from his study and travel throughout the United States, Europe and Asia to create images and installations that investigate the relationship of the human surface with the spiritual interior.
The child of Russian refugees who immigrated into the United States after World War II, Alferov grew up first in Worcester, Massachusetts and then in an old house on Fountain Avenue in Los Angeles. Daily, he experienced the duality of the immigrant identity. At school, he moved in an American-made world, learning new ways of interacting along with the unfamiliar. But in the evening, he came home to the shadows of his vanished Russian ancestors and his Eastern European culture.
As he grew into adulthood, Alferov wrote and painted to document his life, absorbing new influences under the Hollywood sign but never forgetting the images of his early childhood.
Alferov was a pioneer artist in the development of computer art. From 1985 to 1990 he was Artist in Residence in the new creative computer program at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum.
In 1987, he met Sister Karen Boccalero of the order of Saint Francis of Assissi, who brought him to Self Help Graphics in East Los Angeles. Alferov worked at Self Help Graphics from 1987 to 2000 as an artist and curator, gaining
exposure to the color and vibrancy, as well as the religiosity, of Mexican-American artists.In 1990, he was invited to be Artist in Residence by the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, where he created offset lithographs of his paintings.
In 2005, Alferov was chosen as one of six artists to participate in The Wall / Las Memorias Project, at Lincoln Park. He created two monumental murals funded by the California Arts Council and the L.A. Citywide Mural Project. One of the murals is now in a private collection.
Alferov’s Madonna Project bridges the old with the contemporary, turning the traditional image of the Virgin Mary into an icon without borders. The vibrant colors and bold lines of the paintings recall Mexican depictions of the Virgin of Guadalupe, but the long faces and oval eyes evoke the gilded iconic image of Our Blessed Mother of God of the Russian Orthodox Church, where Alferov served as an altar boy.
Alferov’s art is in numerous collections and his prints are part of the Los Angeles Museum Permanent Print Collection and the University of Santa Barbara Archives.