Skip to content
1

Hugo Crosthwaite

Allowing the act of drawing to organically dictate his compositions in works that range from intimate drawings to large scale murals, Hugo Crosthwaite juxtaposes a wide range of textural and tonal ranges against spaces that alternate from dense and atmospheric to flat and graphic. Two seminal series of drawings, titled Carpas and Tijuanerias, pay homage to Goya's "Caprichos" with its depiction of grotesque and surrealistic figures and themes executed in an informal, sketch-like style. His subjects—the everyday men, women and children that populate the border region of San Diego/Tijuana—are presented in a non-idealized documentary style that allows them to appear in their humble familiarity and authenticity. 

Crosthwaite alternates between mythological subjects and contemporary ones, often combining the two.  Francisco Goya, Eugene Delacroix, Gustave Doré, Jose Guadalupe Posada, and Arnold Böcklin are among the many artists that have inspired his work. He also includes an exploration of modern abstraction in his compositions, which he approaches in a totally improvisational manner. The joining of abstraction with classically-rendered imagery creates a feeling of spontaneity and vagueness; each work becomes an enfoldment of personal vision in which reality, history, and mythology collide as he explores the complexities of human expression.

Hugo Crosthwaite was born 1971 in Tijuana and spent his formative years in Rosarito, Mexico.  An American citizen with family on both sides of the border, he graduated from San Diego State University in 1997 with a BA in Applied Arts.  Crosthwaite lives and works in San Diego, CA and Rosarito, Mexico.  

Crosthwaite is the 2019 winner of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.  His works are included in the permanent collections Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; San Diego Museum of Art, CA; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL; the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; The Progressive Art Collection, and numerous private collections around the world.

Hugo Crosthwaite El Palado, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
El Palado, 2013
Acrylic, graphite on canvas
127 x 73 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite La Narazona, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
La Narazona, 2013
Acrylic and graphite on canvas
127 x 73 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Miss Bala, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Miss Bala, 2013
Acrylic and graphite on canvas
127 x 73 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #1, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #1, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.
 

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #2, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #2, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #3, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #3, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #4, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #4, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #5, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #5, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #6, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #6, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #7, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #7, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #8, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #8, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #9, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #9, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #10, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #10, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #11  (La Narizona), 2013 Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper 8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #11, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #12, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #12, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #13, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #13, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #14, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #14, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #15, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #15, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #16, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #16, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #17, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #17, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #18, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #18, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #19, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #19, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #20, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #20, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #21, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #21, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #22, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #22, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #23, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #23, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #24, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #24, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #25, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #25, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Carpas Study, #26, 2013

Hugo Crosthwaite
Carpas Study, #26, 2013
Ink, ink wash and graphite on Canson paper
8.5 x 5.5 in.

In Mexico and the Southwestern United States, the carpa (Spanish for "tent") theater flourished during the 1920s and 30s. The carpas, groups of itinerant performers, moved their collapsible stages from town to town, setting up in the main square or the middle of a street and presenting a program that spoke directly to their mixed-class audience. The material presented in the carpas was highly satirical and frequently political in nature. The central character, the pelado, is the Mexican national clown. A penniless underdog, he brought the popular concerns and spirit ignored by official society into performance, improvising comic routines on such topics as the high cost of living, political scandals, and treacherous political leaders.

Back To Top