Press on Hugo Crosthwaite’s “Borderlands”

Hugo Crosthwaite’s “Borderlands” exhibition at Mana Contemporary Jersey City reviewed here

“Land of the Free” sizzles at MANA Contemporary

“The sensation of the show is Tijuana artist Hugo Crosthwaite, whose “Borderlands” includes a roomful of small, explosive sketches of scenes from an enhanced version of the artist’s hometown, wild, wall-sized acrylic paintings choked with Mexican signifiers and pregnant with foreboding and whispers of violence, and a vibrant wraparound favela sketched all over the surfaces of a large room. This last piece is a work in progress, and Crosthwaite has already declared his intention to paint over it when he’s done, which just about makes me cry. Its concatenations of hovels and stacks of buildings disintegrating into howling white space suggest runaway growth made real: human habitation viewed as trash, disposable, ignorable, yet undeniably beautiful. “La Apoteosis de un Taco,” a twenty-one panel mural, is so loaded with fascinating detail that it could take a week of staring at it to begin to unpack its meaning. Here are Tijuaneros engaged in a near-mythological struggle against the perils of their own identities, treading on guns and blood, grappling with clouds, standing firm in the shadow of a cresting wave of block-like buildings, orbiting a upside-down skull in a bullet-bedecked mandala at the center of the massive piece.”   —Tris McCall