Hugo Crosthwaite at Pierogi

Escape Rates Escaparates

16 Oct – 15 Nov, 2009

Press Release

Pierogi is pleased to present the first New York one-person exhibition of Hugo Crosthwaite’s charcoal and graphite works. Escape Rates Escaparates is a series of works that explores the immediacy and tactility of drawing. Breaking the white surface with images from a personal narrative that is anguished, intimate, but also bitterly ironic. Regurgitating an adolescent impulse toward the grotesque, the macabre, and the obscene, Crosthwaite’s drawings convey disillusionment, unspeakable urges, humor and dark frustrations.

“I let the act of drawing dictate my compositions, combining mythical and historical sources with contemporary provocations. Centerfolds, cartoon creatures, commercial facades and strange street characters populate my work, reflecting Mexican culture’s condition of colonization and its customization of American icons; all with the purpose of conveying a personal baroque narrative that resembles an abstract urban, chaotic sediment reminiscent of Tijuana, Mexico, the city I come from.” (Crosthwaite, 2009)

The first term in English—ESCAPE RATES—refers to the escapist, surreal and staged subject matter in the drawings, and the Spanish word—ESCAPARATES—translates as showcase or storefront facade. It is a play on words where the only difference between both is a change in one vowel… suggesting both a difference in language, a duality in background as a Mexican-American draughtsman and a series of works that stage a narrative with multiple interpretations for the viewer to experience.

This exhibition will consist of a series of charcoal and graphite works on canvas and paper. In gallery 2 Crosthwaite will create a large-scale wall drawing on site throughout the exhibition.

Crosthwaite was born in Tijuana, Mexico in 1971 and grew up in the tourist-heavy beach town of Rosarito. He received a BA from San Diego State University’s School of Art and currently lives and works in New