The Artist Sees Differently: Roberto Alcaraz

Roberto Alcaraz, Museum Assistant and Sunday Concerts Assistant

Roberto Alcaraz on a break with his guitar. Photo: Joshua Navarro

How did you learn about the Phillips?

A cousin of mine, who was living here at the time, first mentioned it to me soon after my arrival in D.C. However, it did not take long for me to realize its importance in the cultural life of the city.

Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art?

Yes. There is a wealth of great works that are really inspiring. Any collection that includes works by van Gogh, Klee, Morandi, Rothko, plus all the major impressionists, is bound to have works worth looking up to.

What do you listen to when you work on your photography?

Curiously, having a music background, I prefer not listening to music when I am in a darkroom doing prints. I try to focus on my task in hand with no distractions, if possible.

Who’s your favorite artist in the collection?

It is difficult for me to single one out. However, there are inevitably some with whom I feel a stronger affinity: Klee, van Gogh, de Stael, for example. There are also lesser known artists I have come to know who I also find very inspiring, such as Albert Pinkham Ryder and Theodoros Stamos.

Do you collect other artwork – or anything?

I do own a few works by some artist friends, which I have collected throughout the years. However, my true passion when it comes to collecting is music.

And do you have a favorite Marjorie Phillips painting?

If I had to choose, it would be Nuns on a Roof, which is, I think, one of her better works.

-Rolf Rykken

Roberto Alcaraz, Paris, 1993. Black and white film photograph, 8 1/2 x 10 in.


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