Hugo Crosthwaite will produce In Memoriam: Los Angeles while visitors watch from the sidelines. The mural will wrap the walls of the entire gallery and will be on view in its completed form for only a matter of weeks before Crosthwaite begins the process of painting it out, section by section, during museum hours. This mural-as-performance is part of a series of murals he calls In Memoriam, which the artist has been painting at sites in the U.S. and abroad. Visitors are invited to speak with him, ask questions, or simply watch while he is working.
Crosthwaite works in a style that combines portraiture, comic book characters, ads and signage, urban facades, and mythological references, among other things, in dense and layered compositions. His work reflects the character of frenetic urban settings - especially border towns like Tijuana where the artist lives. Fear, hope, sorrow, and celebration are all represented together as he incorporates his observations of daily life. He elevates the ordinary person to heroic levels showing the trials they endure while surviving and thriving in our contemporary cities. Through his work, Crosthwaite invites us to have compassion for people who struggle in the margins of society.
Hugo Crosthwaite, mural in progress,
2016 Cuenca Biennial:
Permanence / Impermanence
For In Memoriam: Los Angeles, Crosthwaite will observe and sketch people in the local Los Angeles downtown area as he works in an improvisational manner to complete the mural. Working only during the museum's open hours, he will engage the public and allow the interactions to influence his work. At the end of the exhibition, the artist will produce an animation from still photographs taken throughout the process, which will show the painting's production from beginning to end.
In contextualizing Crosthwaite's work in relation to the Chicano mural movement and the
¡Murales Rebeldes! exhibition at the California Historical Society, the creation of a site-specific mural at the Museum of Social recognizes another important contribution on Olvera Street - "América Tropical," painted by Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros
in 1932 - and addresses ideas and issues that are at the core of the Mexican-American experience, from family, religion, and popular culture to work, immigration, and equality.
"My performance of deconstructing my mural pays homage to the Siqueiros mural - to the fragile permanence of image and memory. I am honored to be working so close to it," says Hugo Crosthwaite.
The Museum of Social Justice is located in
the historic La Plaza United Methodist Church at 146 Paseo de la Plaza, in El Pueblo de Los Angeles, at the intersection of the Los Angeles Plaza and Olvera Street. The museum is a cultural center focused on the story of Los Angeles' diversity through education and community transformation. Current museum hours are: Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tel. 213-613-1096.
Hugo Crosthwaite was born 1974 in Tijuana and lives in Rosarito, Mexico. He received a BA in Applied Arts in 1997 from San Diego State University. His works are in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; San Diego Museum of Art, CA; Boca Raton Musem of Art, Boca Raton, FL; and, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, among others.
Selected exhibitions include Bienal de Cuenca: Impermanencia/Impermanence, curated by Dan Cameron, Cuenca, Peru; Displacement: Symbols and Journeys, Cornell Fine Art Museum, Winter Park, Florida; MOLAA at 20, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; The House on Mango Street, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; XI Bienal Monterrey FEMSA, Monterrey, MX; California Pacific Triennial 2013, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Studies for Carpas and Tijuanerias, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles; The New World, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA; The Very Large Array, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Behold, America!, San Diego Museum of Art; Carnivorall, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY; Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection, Chicago Cultural Center; and Brutal Beauty: Drawings by Hugo Crosthwaite, San Diego Museum of Art; TRANSactions: Contemporary Latin American and Latino Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; El Grito/The Cry for Freedom, Univ. of Arkansas, Little Rock, AK; and Strange New World: Art & Design from Tijuana, Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA.
For further information, including hi-res images, please contact Meghan Gordon, Associate Director, at email@example.com or call 310-838-6000.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is located at 2685 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm, and by appointment.