Jose Lerma at Saatchi Gallery

Jose Lerma



Samuel Bernard 2010

Acrylic on canvas, synthesizer, speakers


Jose Lerma's works illustrate the rise and fall of powerful historical figures. Ether looking back to Puerto Rico's wars or to bygone celebrities, Lerma begins intricate paintings with layers of ball pen doodles.

The heaps of cartoon-style drawings accumulate on the canvas as if struggling for air to breathe. The artist then returns with paint and household products, such as pink military parachutes, which are used to either veil or frame the emerging oversized portraints. Such is the effect of the combination of materials on a large scale that his subjects become monumental silhouettes of baroque effigies.

References to popular culture heroes such as legendary boxer Emanuel Augustus, alongside the 'homage' to ruling historical figures, suggest a multi-temporal approach to the eternal themes of war, love and power that populate the archives of art history.

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