Hugo Crosthwaite

Hugo Crosthwaite - no description






Hugo Crosthwaite
Solo Presentation
at The Javits Center  Booth S4
429 11th Avenue, NY, NY 10001
9–12 September, 2021
VIP Preview: Thursday, 9 September
Public Days: 10–12 September


Press Release

We are delighted to present a solo exhibition by Mexican-American artist, Hugo Crosthwaite (b.1971, Tijuana, Mexico). He is the first Latinx winner of the prestigious Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition (2019), for his stop-motion animation portraying migrant Berenice Sariento Chávez’s journey from Mexico to the USA.

Our presentation will include a wall-size mural (“La Apoteosis de un Taco” / “The Apotheosis of a Taco,” 2021); two stop-motion animation videos: one a portrait of the chaotic city of Tijuana (“Tía Juana Mi Amor,” 2020), the other a personal portrait (“Como Romeo y Julieta,” 2021); and a grouping of Crosthwaite’s small ink works on paper which are captivating in their immediacy.

Crosthwaite employs graphite, charcoal, and acrylic to combine portraiture, comic book references, urban signage, commercial facades, and mythology in dense, layered compositions. Working primarily in black and white he brings characters from allegory and popular media to the stage of the human condition. The work reflects the character of frenetic urban settings, a border in flux.

“I let the act of drawing dictate my compositions, combining mythical and historical sources with contemporary provocations. Cartoon creatures, commercial facades and strange street characters populate my work, reflecting Mexican culture’s condition of colonization…; all conveying a personal narrative that resembles an abstract urban, chaotic sediment reminiscent of Tijuana….” (HC) 

Crosthwaite was born in Tijuana, Mexico in 1971 and has lived and worked between Tijuana, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn. He currently lives and works in Tijuana. He was awarded First Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC for the 2019 Fifth Triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and was chosen to represent Mexico in the California-Pacific Triennial. His work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions, including: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Chicago Cultural Center; The San Diego Museum of Art; and is included in museum collections including: LACMA, LA, CA; MoCA, San Diego, CA; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA; MAM, Miami, FL. He received a BA from San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.


Artist Statement

“I create works of art that are beautiful. Not a beauty that duplicates the commonplace aesthetic molded by advertising and mass media imagery but a personal intimate beauty. The depiction of human suffering and violence permeates my works. The works themselves are not violent, rather thoughtful and rife with seductive imagery. I explore the complexities of human expression, everything from alienation to acceptance and even celebration.

I alternate between mythological subjects and contemporary ones, often combining the two. Francisco Goya, Eugene Delacroix, Theodore Gericault and Arnold Bocklin are among the many artists that have inspired my work. I also include an exploration of modern abstraction in my compositions. The joining of abstraction with classical imagery creates a feeling of spontaneity and vagueness within each work. I consider each work to be a vision of mine in which history, mythology, and abstraction collide.

I love the immediacy and tactility of drawing, the breaking of the white surface with images from my own personal narrative. I let the act of drawing dictate my compositions. My works are completed using graphite and charcoal. This medium allows me to seamlessly combine classical figurative representation with modern abstraction. This mixture creates feelings of chaos and spontaneity, reminiscent of Tijuana, Mexico, the city from where I came. In my depiction of figures, I am dedicated to using classical technique, minute in detail. The absence of color allows each work to be viewed as an objective documentation of events from which the spectator’s involvement is forbidden. It is not my objective to create compositions to which viewers can relate. It is my intent to create works that maintain their mysteriousness in spite of their classical figurative representation.”

—Hugo Crosthwaite