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Inspired by street artists, Cardona explores urban themes

Photo by Isaac Myers ’18 – Alberto Cardona ’16 works on his latest piece in the Studio Art Room, Jan. 15. Cardona has submitted several pieces to BLAM and has won several awards for his art.

By Cameron M. Bray ’16

With four brothers as artists, it is no surprise Alberto Cardona ’16 is so immersed in art.

Having completed Drawing his freshman year and Advanced Drawing his junior year, Cardona now takes Advanced Placement Studio Art: 2-D Design, a course in which he is required to submit a portfolio for evaluation at the end of the school year.

He said that his brothers have been a major source of inspiration for him along the way and that he’s “pretty much just following in their footsteps.”

However, these are not the only artists who have influenced him and his work.

Fond of urban art, which he frequently depicts in his works, Cardona said that Banksy and Shepard Fairey, two well-known graffiti artists, were sources of inspiration for him.

“I really admire Shepard Fairey and Banksy’s artworks,” he said. “I feel like I’m in agreement with the majority of their messages.”

In particular, Cardona said he had a special liking toward the works of Banksy.

“I think they’re funny,” he said. “I feel like they’re satirical and subtle in how they critique society and everything that’s going on. That’s really a big part of my inspiration.”

Over the years not only has Cardona achieved third place in two contests sponsored by the Brophy Literary and Arts Magazine titled “Motif” and “Seclusion,” but he has also enjoyed another, more distinct honor.

Currently, one his works—a pastel portrait depicting a woman posed with a backlight shining on her—hangs in U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s Arizona district office on 44th Street.

Cardona said that she found about the work through one of her staffers who contacted Fine Arts Department Chair Mr. Mica Mulloy ’99 about displaying it.

“I displayed it in the Fine Arts Extravaganza,” Cardona said. “Someone in her office came to see our art. I guess she spoke to Mr. Mulloy to see if she would allow me to hang it up there.”
Ms. Debbie Cronin, who has had Cardona for all three of his drawing classes, said that he is a hardworking student and that he creates “professional work.”

“I want students to have a sense of completion, and I want them to have a sense of pride in their work, and I want to push them as far as they can be pushed,” she said. “But Albert always pushes himself further, and he accomplishes things that I would think are outside the scope of a student.”

Two works of his stood out to her as examples of his dedication: the first was a portrait of Zlatan Ibrahimović, a Swedish soccer player; the second, a large family portrait depicting members of Cardona’s family as spray cans of different sizes and colors with a graffiti background.

She also noted how he is unafraid to put in time after school and at lunch to work on his art.

Like Ms. Cronin, Paul Bullington ’16, a classmate of Cardona’s in AP Studio Art who frequently collaborates with him on projects, also said that Cardona has great skill as an artist.

“I think he has lots of potential,” he said. “All of the stuff he produces is real top cheddar, so I think he could go places.”

Though he has known Cardona all four years at Brophy, Bullington said that he has really gotten to known him this year and that he is glad to have had the opportunity.

Albert’s awesome. I’m glad I got to known him this year,” he said. “He’s a happy guy. He’s so upbeat and always interested in what’s going on in my life.”

Though he said he is more interested in pursuing engineering in college, Cardona said he will definitely fit art into his schedule in the coming years.