Meet the Class of 2014: Alvaro Keding

July 3, 2014

Degree: BFA in Photography

Hometown: Bogota, Columbia

Reason for coming to SVA: “I always wanted to study film, but film is a very hard industry to break into to just do it on your own, so I started doing photography and really loved it. My sister and I are art fanatics and read about SVA. New York’s been a dream of mine.”

Alvaro Keding

Thesis Project: Tailored Habitats, a series of photographs taken at the Bronx Zoo, New York City, and other zoos. “I’m interested in manufactured ‘natural’ landscapes. Even though they’re artificial, they still deteriorate and you see the passage of time. They raise so many questions about what we do and our relationship with nature. I lived in big cities my whole life, and my relationship with nature was that—going to natural history museums, zoos and parks that are all man made. I started shooting in the Bronx Zoo. Two years later, I’ve been there dozens of times.”

Favorite class at SVA: Semiotics, with Bill Beckley. “No matter what kind of art you’re doing, you can learn so much about what you’re doing and how to talk about it.”

Advice for a new SVA student: “Ask questions, a lot of questions. People are willing to answer—they’re just waiting for you to ask.”

Favorite artist/designer/writer: Michelangelo Antonioni

Favorite place to see art in New York: “The Asian wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When I first came to New York on summer vacations I went there, and it was a place of quiet and peace. They have a Noguchi fountain, and I would just sit there and write. And I always go back to it when I need to think.”

Current working on: “I’m starting to do videos, so I’m going back to all these zoos and museums and shooting motion pictures.”

Next stop: Royal College of Art, on a one-semester scholarship awarded annually to one BFA Photography graduate by Department Chair Stephen Frailey.

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