(Mexico, b. 1963)
The paintings of Jesus Lugo reflect his passion for the intersection of art and history. Lugo's recent series of paintings have addressed the utopian vision of Tatlin and the Russian revolution, Manet and the Napoleonic culture of war, Jackson Pollack and the triumph of American painting, and Francisco Toledo and the challenges of globalization.
One need not be a student of history to appreciate the power of Lugo's paintings. His romanticism, irreverence, and formal invention are immediately apparent. Lugo has adapted the historical landscape to his own purposes, adding as a recurring device an imaginary scaffolding, part Piranesi, and part Rube Goldberg. This scaffolding, delightful in itself, suggests that painting is a constructed reality, a game of delicate balances, precarious, in danger of collapsing in the blink of an eye. In keeping with his voluminous subject matter, Lugo's influences encompass everything from Nineteenth and Twentieth Century European painting to Japanese art, from comic books and cartoons to the eroticism of contemporary advertising culture.
In 2002, Lugo was awarded first prize in Mexico's prestigious Rufino Tamayo Biennal. In addition to exhibiting at Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, his recent exhibitions include The Museum of Modern Art, Mexico, and ARCO, Madrid.