S. C. Altaires




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Neighborhood: Mission

Inspired by the liminal space between consciousness and unconscious, my current series of abstract paintings explores a wonderland of vague forms and shimmering specters floating atop seas of texture, opacity and pattern.

These are the landscapes that I see when I close my eyes. And like cloud gazing, stargazing, or Rorschach inkblots, when we allow ourselves to gaze outwardly with inward curiosity — to ask ourselves openly, “What do I see?” we are often delighted to rediscover familiar shapes, imaginary creatures, celestial patterns or illusive memories. After all, the universe allows for all types of interpretation, from constellations to chaos; it doesn't dictate how to experience it.

I embrace this concept deeply in my abstract compositions. One viewer might see a face, a moon or a cat; another might feel an emotional response or a space of calm. Is there a comforting balance or playful tension between light and shadow, reflective metals and matte brushstrokes? Or maybe there is nothing more than the intentional splatters of pigment on a flat surface — humankind’s ancient breadcrumbs of time and gesture. All interpretations are equally valid. I invite viewers to see anything and everything that they can, or nothing at all. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the paintings exist to dance with your eyes like mirrors.

I'm a San Francisco-based artist working across a variety of media — painting, printmaking, photography, graphic design and multi-media. My formal education includes a degree in Fine Art from the University of California at Berkeley, classes at California College of the Arts and The San Francisco Center for the Book, as well as a decade of experience working as a corporate firm photographer and in-house graphic designer.