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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 Cafe Drama Laccon, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Cafe Drama Laccon, 2010
Graphite and charcoal on canvas
24 x 24 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Blown, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Blown, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper mounted on panel
12 x 9 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite The Propagandist, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
The Propagandist, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper mounted on panel
​12 x 9 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Double Chin, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Double Chin, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper mounted on panel
​12 x 9 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Fat Suit, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Fat Suit, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper mounted on panel
​12 x 9 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Japonaise Drinker, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Japonaise Drinker, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper mounted on panel
​12 x 9 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Little Sister, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Little Sister, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper mounted on panel
12 x 9 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Revival, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Revival, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper mounted on panel
12 x 9 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Two Worms, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Two Worms, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper mounted on panel
12 x 9 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Nastalgic, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Nastalgic, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper
12 x 9 in.

Hugo Crosthwaite Lost in the Woods, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite
Lost in the Woods, 2010
Graphite, charcoal, white ink on paper
12 x 9 in.

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