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Artist News: Wall Street Today by Fernando Luis Alvarez at UBS Stamford

September 28, 2010
Wall Street has been at the forefront of the American public’s mind long before Shia LaBeouf tried to take on Gordon Gecko.  The original Wall Street, made back in 1987, epitomizes the greed-centric culture of the 1980s.  In its most recent cinematic reincarnation, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, consumption takes on a more sinister persona, one that touches close to home in the wake of government bailouts and corporations folding.  However, film is not the only medium expressing a reaction to the current economic downturn: contemporary art is also offering a response.  In a work divined before the full story of the economy’s fall finally broke, contemporary artist Fernando Luis Alvarez presents his own version of Wall Street in his iconic and cerebral piece: Wall Street Today.

Wall Street Today by Fernando Luis Alvarez

From September 15th to October 15th, the main gallery of the UBS Corporate Headquarters in Stamford will feature the work of in-house contemporary artist Fernando Luis Alvarez.   His piece Wall Street Today hangs as part of an exhibit celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Wall Street Today is a triptych that documents and accurately envisioned the landscape of Wall Street, today.  Begun in August of 2008 and completed by early October of the same year,  Alvarez depicts three stages, one per canvas.  The first, “Wall,” depicts the end of the opulent, excessive, and lavish lifestyle of Wall Street-types, and the beginning of a serious recession.

The second piece, “Street,” describes the Street during the two week time in September of 2008 when hardly anyone in the financial sector would dare to predict or even discuss the market conditions on TV or to the media: no one really knew what was going on.

The third piece shows the condition of Wall Street “Today”: the same but different.   The artist depicts those CEOs of the industry’s major companies who were ousted out upside down, and those that withstood are positioned right-side up.  Today, Wall Street  is still the same but more compact.  All of its principles are driven by human beings, which leads the artist to say, “just sit tight because this will happen again, and likely stronger regardless of regulatory practices.” A controversial piece for the space, it generated much buzz at the show’s opening and artist reception on Monday, September 27th.

The Gallery would like to thank Valerie Cooper and Picture That for the curation of the show.

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