Thursday, August 14, 2014

Alan Serna contra: Jose Luis Malo

Jose Luis Malo, yes you guessed it, is a Mexican painter, in both senses. That is to say, he paints Mexicans and he is Mexican. Malo's work couldn't be more different than Daniel Lezama's. While they both rely heavily on the human body to communicate their ideas, Jose Luis uses it in a manor that is highly political and true to his craftsmanship serves as Mexican society's ugly funhouse mirror. Like Lezama's characters, Jose Luis' characters have an undeniable humanity to them, but not the kind that we tend to want to look at. They are ravenous, greedy, and vicious, but human nonetheless.

Lezama and Jose Luis both explore and manipulate the figure in similar ways: treatment of the skin, playing with scale, and  effective use of color and lighting. Where Jose Luis has Lezama beat however, is in his characters' expressions. The face, I believe, has the ability to tell a story almost completely on its own and with less effort. The immediacy of the messages an expression can get accross makes it a powerful tool not only in telling a story but drawing the viewer in initially, and for the sake of time allows for a faster reading of a work.

Jose Luis' nudes are nothing pretty to look at, but their grotesque appearance is well calculated. We as an audience are being presented with an the issue of obesity, and while these nude are grotesque and confrontational they are reality. Jose Luis is not shy about including himself in the problem, and more times than not, includes himself in his work as a key character.

Jose Luis' work is the perfect example that stories don't always have to please the audience.

Digital Catalog

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