Jose Lerma

About Artist: Claiming that “all art is about other art and about your parents,” José Lerma produces layered, exuberant mixed-media paintings, combining art-historical and biographical references into compositions at once abstract and figurative, humorous and dark, chaotic and controlled. In 2002, Lerma abandoned installation, video, and photography to focus on painting, a medium he has been exploring conceptually and materially ever since. As he explains: “I make paintings and works about painting.” Lerma’s influences—including R. Crumb, Pablo Picasso, Piero della Francesca, and Bruce Nauman—are as wide-ranging as his work. In addition to using paper and canvas, he has drawn and painted on office carpeting and towels and incorporated a metal cabinet and synthesizers into his compositions. Portraits of male figures recur in his works—simultaneously recognizable and obscured, they reveal both the process and the illusion of painting.

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