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Anna Zorina Gallery
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Alvin Armstrong at Anna Zorina


The title of Alvin Armstrong’s third exhibition with Anna Zorina (the first at its budding Los Angeles location) is borrowed from a line in the song “All These Changes” by Nick Hakim. The R&B musician sings about the finite nature of humanity and the world around us. Taking heed to Hakim’s soulful warning, Armstrong captures the tender trappings of his everyday life and the special people who make up his community — both loved ones and celebrated heroes — with bold primary colors and subtle abstract backgrounds that zero in on the essence of the subjects themselves. 

Some individuals sit still for a more traditional portrait, while others are kinetic and caught in action, like mid-dive swimmers or a boxer packing an uppercut. Whether depicting subjects in action or at rest, each of Armstrong’s paintings concentrate on the foreground and crop out most of what’s happening beyond the subject’s focus, extolling humanity just as the Hakim song suggests.  

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Photo: Take Me To Another Place, 2023. Copyright: Alvin Armstrong. Courtesy: Anna Zorina Gallery, New York and Los Angeles. Photographer: Stan Narten and Ruben Diaz.