Feranado Luis Alvarez

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Fernando Luis Alvarez was born and educated in Greenwich, CT and London, but raised by his grandmother Clementina in Medellin, Colombia from 3-months until age 12. 

 

A passion for art, business, and innovation early-on motivated Alvarez to attend university in London, where he studied international business, finance, political science, and economics. While in school, he completed an internship at Merrill Lynch, which focused on his proposed idea of developing the business plan for the first sports mutual fund. In one of his earliest projects, Alvarez entered a competition where he had to create a plan and implementation strategy to turn around an existing public corporation that was on the brink of folding. He selected Apple and, in his 1995 paper that won the competition, recommended that Apple’s board buy out NEXT!, bring back Steve Jobs as the CEO, and give Jobs the freedom to turn the company around. Additionally, Alvarez recommended that Apple get rid of the old corporate image (the rainbow logo) and replace it with a blue one. Within a year, all of his predictions and recommendations took place, and were eventually fully adopted, molding Apple into what it is today.

 

Alvarez founded the business development firm Alvarez & Partners soon after leaving school in 1997, which focused in identifying, funding, and helping manage internet start-ups and other technology-related enterprises. With this vehicle, Alvarez rode the tech wave of the 90’s. In 1999, he built an ad agency called APe-Shop, which filled the void of the missing unit in his business development firm. Throughout his career, Alvarez took on multiple senior-level positions in marketing, business development, and strategy, as well as acted as CEO for a number of tech concerns including Meetgate, one of the first corporate instant messaging companies.

 

He found his next interest in the legendary 20th-century collector and gallerist Allan Stone.  Alvarez worked for Stone’s estate and widow at the late collector’s home, which contained his vast art collection. Simultaneously, Alvarez began to dedicate himself full-time to his art and founded his studio, Greenwich Soho Factory, in Greenwich, CT, in 2008. This led him to open the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery in Stamford, CT, in December 2009. The company was created with a mission that beckoned to both Alvarez’s modest beginnings and corporate successes: “to build artists’ careers from the doors in, and to build community from the doors out.” The gallery has become a movement, holding one of the most important shows in the Louvre with one of the most important conceptual artists alive, Joseph Kosuth. It has pioneered the arts in Stamford and in the state. The gallery has also amassed an important private collection including artists such as: Robert Longo, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Fishman, Marc Chagall, Katherine Humphries, Richard Diebenkorn, Sean Scully, and Arturo Di Modica, among many others. Many of the emerging contemporary artists represented by the gallery, under Alvarez’s guidance and direction, have achieved museum solo exhibitions, art fair presentations, public installations, and international speaking engagements.

 

In December 2014, Alvarez was asked to take over what was formerly known as the Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund to Benefit the Tate Collection. Candida Gertler, OBE, the Fund’s founder, reached out to Alvarez after learning of the Gallery’s sponsorship of the single largest exhibition at the Musee du Louvre, Joseph Kosuth’s ni apparence ni illusion. Kosuth’s exhibition is a 15-element installation installed in the museum’s Medieval Wing. Mrs. Gertler asked Alvarez to lead her 13-year-old legacy in leading the Fund, which has donated over 100 works to the Tate Collection.

 

Alvarez’s philanthropic outreach demonstrates a strong commitment to supporting community enrichment and development. He sits on the Board of Directors for the city’s most important board, Stamford Downtown (DSSD). He saved the Yerwood Center—a historic, 78-year-old community center and after-school program serving an underprivileged community— as Chairman of the Board until 2015. He sits on the Gala Committee and Oscar Night Leadership Forum for the Avon Theater, and serves as a Co-Chair on the cinema’s leadership committee. He has also introduced arts programming for area schools and non-profits to supplement educational budget cuts in the Arts. Alvarez has become a unique fixture in the art world, combining the roles of contemporary artist, dealer, innovator, marketer, brand builder, career developer, and community leader all in one package.

Now is the time to express moral courage. Now is the time for a few people to be willing to be unpopular and disagreeable. They will be—we are sure of it—plentifully rewarded.