CHRIS LOPEZ - urban saints
Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Chris López became interested in painting as a child and furthered his artistic education at Barcelona’s Pau Gargallo University, where he focused on graphic design, artistic illustration, and painting, while consecutively studying photography and set design for television and stage. Lopez is known for his intimate portrayals of the male form through oil painting, watercolor, photography, charcoal drawing, printmaking, and digital art.
Lopez tends to showcase portraits of men, painted with masterly technique. The artist recalls that he has gravitated toward the human form since his art school days, although he used to paint only women. The desire to surprise an ex-boyfriend one day led to López painting a small male nude watercolor for the first time. He notes that he enjoyed the experience so much that twenty years have passed and he is still captivated by the practice of depicting male beauty.
“I chose these men because in one way or another they show something interesting about being sexy and masculine, without any sexual reference,” he says of the subjects, “I find beauty in a rough masculine face and a classically proportioned body. These paintings are examples of my personal concept of beauty.”
López’s portraits seem to glow with life. There is strength and stoicism in his subjects, but an open, intimate quality as well that invites viewers to imagine the personalities behind the confident faces and sculpted muscles. Sometimes López works in oil, sometimes in acrylic with accents of gold leaf. Backdrops are minimal, unobtrusive, allowing the subjects the full focus of the viewer’s gaze.
In López’s own words, “You might want to know more about each subject—and fall in love with him.”
Chris Lopez currently lives and works in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.