As a child grocery shopping in Chile, Matías Alvial would often find himself overwhelmed. He noticed a wide variety of products available—especially when it came to his country’s diverse and celebrated wines. So, Matías asked his father how someone could know which bottle was the best. “You don’t,” his father responded. Instead, he went on to explain the complex relationship between business and art. Pricing, branding, positioning, and packaging all contribute to the marketing of a product.
“Years later, I realized that NYU would be the best place to study what my father introduced me to long ago: marketing and visual arts,” says Matías.
While at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Matías has been studying what he calls the “aesthetics of commerce.” He’s taking an interdisciplinary look at the future of new media, consumers, and art practices. His courses have pushed him to experiment with new forms and mediums in his own artwork, too. For example, in the piece Untitled (2015), he explores the use of unconventional materials—in this case, paint chips.
About Suffocating Thoughts (2015), Matías says, “The painting seeks to invoke the feeling of suffocating inspiration—when you get artist’s block due to too many ideas fighting against one another.”
In 2017, Matías produced Pink Sea. “This was a study of light and water with a colorful twist and a rather expressive technique. I hoped to capture the essence of waves during sunrise and the feeling of nostalgia I experienced as I used to watch the ocean pull back and forth in the early mornings with my grandfather.”