I love Jose

I love Jose


An art project to celebrate Jose Olimpo Alvarez and his inspiring spirit.

I love Jose is an art project to honor Jose Olimpo Alvarez. Jose was from Agua de Dios, Colombia. He lived in Joplin, Missouri and taught Spanish at Missouri Southern State University. I feel that Jose was a bridge between countries and cultures and it is my intent to recreate that bridge with this project.

Jose participated in my performance Origin of Painting in Pittsburg, KS. and the image for this project is the shadow Jose made during that performance. I performed Origin of Painting in Bogota, Colombia as part of Festival Ojo al Sancocho in 2010. In 2011, I took Jose's image back to Colombia as I love Jose, my second project for this festival.  

I love Jose is an exchange of images called 'little Joses'. These images have been exchanged all over the world: by mail; in workshops; and as street art. Little Joses have been pasted in Pittsburg and Lawrence, KS; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Bogota, Medellin and Buga Colombia; Rio de Janeiro, Brasil; and Helsinki, Finland.

I love Jose is an ongoing project. The little Joses created in the U.S. will go to Jose's family in Agua de Dios, Colombia; the little Joses created in Colombia will go to his family in Miami, Florida. On Thursday, May 15, 2014, Origin of Painting for Jose and for Joplin took place in Joplin, Missouri. For this performance, I created a life-size 'little Jose'. I traced this Jose at the the beginning of the performance to symbolize his presence and removed it following the performance to symbolize his absence.

Jose has constructed a bridge for all of us, between Colombia and the U.S.; between English and Spanish; between music and art; between you and me. My hope is that when you look at the image of my friend Jose, you feel connected to many people all over the world. 

I love Jose participants include: Linden Little,
Jeremy Johnson, Ojo al Sancocho, Populus Proyectos, Alejandro Bejarano, Cristian Gonzalez Henao, Cristian Rojas Velásquez,
Cirlan Oliveira Hei de Vencer, Johannes Kotkavirta, Mariah Sanford, Amy Shapley, Brenda Sageng, and Travis Evans-Lombe.

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