Traviata: Not Your Grandmother’s Art Project


People think that art is costly and a little snooty. Spanish artist Manuel Alcalá wants to change that through his new transmedia project, Traviata.

He explores the story of La Traviata by capturing the passion of the opera and translating it into 70 large scale paintings. The idea behind this project is to collaborate with people and technology to create a unique perspective of the love story in La Traviata.

“To create dramatic and cinematographic movement in my paintings I collaborate with actors, film and stage directors, dancers and performance artists. I capture different angles of the same scene with photography to capture moments and emotion that translate to the painted works,” said Manuel. “It is a media mashup.”

The first phase of paintings are on display at Culture Shock, an art technology studio in at 20 Jay, and will remain there for the duration of a recently-launched Kickstarter campaign, running through March 28.

“We are keen to provide art collectors with an opportunity to be the first to discover Manuel and become patrons and participants. We are inspired by artists who use technology to disrupt outmoded elements and conventions of the creative process. We love that this experience is accessible and truly interactive,” said Culture Shock founder Debra Anderson.

The Kickstarter campaign will raise money to complete the second two acts of the opera. While the campaign is in progress, this artist is sharing every step of the creative process with backers and collaborators — and even inviting backers to become collaborators.

“There is a new relationship between the artist and audience which never existed, a system completely outside the confounds of a fine art system. It is accessible, interactive, and emotional,” said Manuel. “I wanted to do something revolutionary, using technology to make something altogether universal that everyone could understand and yet very local and tactile for patrons.”