Carolina Fontoura Alzaga has come a long way since Denver. The artist, who's now based in Los Angeles, goes by FACARO in the art world, where she's gained international acclaim. And one of her chandeliers made of bicycle parts was just featured in several episodes of the popular vampire series, True Blood. See also: Denver native's used bicycles chandeliers have made her an international art star
Alzaga was born in Mexico Vity, then moved to Denver, where she graduated East High School in 1999. She got her BFA from Metro State, where the chandeliers were her thesis piece, in 2007. Her very first chandelier was donated to Derailer, a bicycle collective that dissolved and gave birth to the Bike Pit, where the chandelier still hangs.
After Metro, Alzaga returned to Mexico City, then moved to L.A. As the popularity of her chandeliers grew, she began to travel more internationally. Her pieces have now been shown all over the world, from Poland to the Middle East.
Last year she was invited to show her work at Comme des Garçons Trading Museum in Japan, and she recently finished a ten-foot-long, four-foot-wide chandelier commissioned by Heineken. But now her work has gone beyond shows and ad campaigns into television.
"When we were putting the set together, we knew we wanted an edgy look to this very edgy sexual torture environment," says Ron V. Franco, set decorator for True Blood. "In looking at the other chandeliers that were available, what set [FACARO's] apart was that it is edgy but with a bite to it." The bite pun was unintended but accurate, given the nature of the show: The chandelier was shown in two recent episodes, "Almost Home" and "Love Is to Die."
"It feels really great," Alzaga says of her work being featured on True Blood. "It seems really appropriate for me." She has always seen her chandeliers as art objects, but has worked to make them more functional over time. She plans to work with other lighting sculptures in the future, while still using reclaimed materials.
This winter Alzaga will be heading back to Mexico City for a solo show, exhibiting more of her CONNECT series at Prophaeta gallery. After Mexico City, the series will be moving to Amsterdam some time next year.
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Find more information about FACARO and her work at facaro.com.