Andrew Alba Paints from the Gut in “American Soup”
If you’re being followed or navigating a dangerous place, your natural defense mechanisms activate and start tuning. These mechanisms are buried in our mind and body, just as they are in any other domesticated animal. Colors get brighter, movements slow down, and you can shift from terror to fighting mode in a fraction of a second. This is the realm of instinct, where your gut determines if you’re going to run or throw punches — and where painter Andrew Alba reports from, depicting the intense side of Utah in works like “Stray Pregnant Dog in Glendale,” “Running,” or “Rose Park Pozole.” In his latest show, American Soup at Modern West Fine Art, Alba weaves bright red paint, aggressive lines and the symbolism of half-feral animals to depict a world of migrants, laborers, worried women, fighters and other members of marginalized communities.