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Christian Alvarado (they) is an afro-latinx artist whose practice sails between the realms of drawing, sculpture and writing. Influenced by afrofuturism, and latinx speculative fiction, their artworks resemble mythological scenes bursting from the darkness in rich color across the stars. Through their dynamic use of color and material, Christian constructs a personal cosmology for how an interstellar diaspora may come to be. Their works have been shown at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, Foundation Gallery in Tulsa, OK, Gallery Aferro in Newark NJ, and The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison, NJ.


The artwork in SCENES! FROM THE PHENOMENOMICON! is a means of preemptively establishing a shelter in the distant cosmos. It plays with personal and cultural mythos by merging autobiographical, fictional and historical figures and events. Across a variety of hexagonal drawing-sculpture hybrids, shaped after space-faring projects that symbolize a quest to establish contact with life from far away, the heavens and its inhabitants are stumbled upon in dazzling darkness and cosmic color.

The word “phenomenomicon” is a makeshift carrier bag – a shelter I’ve constructed to hold the feelings, dreams, and people of a little world I want to share with you. It is a portmanteau of the words “phenomena” which means a speculative person, thing, or event, and “Necronomicon”, in reference to a fictional book of evil gods found in the science-fiction subgenre of cosmic horror. Thus, the stage upon which these Scenes! are set is a speculation that shelters us from the horror of the cosmos.

What is this horror? It is not the cosmos itself. Not while wishes are cast from comet tails. Not while the moon rhymes with an ebbing tide. Even here, the explosions of colorful mayhem and gasping lights and whirling plasma storms appear in their terrestrial form, the tumultuous waves that breathe glittering foam and curl around my ankles and pull me deeper into the sand. Just as how gravity pulls me into the stars. This is not horror. This is home.

The true horror is the destruction of the cosmos by the evil gods. They dreamed of connecting islands in the sea like constellations. And when they finally were, they found that the real constellations are made of islands in the sky. The history of colonization is a prophecy of cosmic horror. When the next explorers land at the doorstep of Mars or beyond, will they leave a path of horror in their wake as they make their way to further and further worlds, just as they had done before? Through this phenomenomicon, we take a detour from a potential colonial future. Members of my family are illustrated against an abstract celestial expanse, representing our presence in a turbulent cosmos. In doing so, a place is secured for us in the new world.