Exhibition Dates: July 8 – 17, 2016
Opening Reception: July 8, 7-10pm
Closing Reception July 15, 7-10pm
AN EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS OF MEN WITH A MASCULINE SENSIBILITY
SIMPLY MASCULINE is a collection of evocative large-scale male portraits painted with warmth, classical technique, and sometimes unusual materials. Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Chris López is a new artist with the JO HAY OPEN STUDIO GALLERY. He 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. López currently lives and works in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, and is known for his intimate portrayals of the male form through oil painting, watercolor, photography, charcoal drawing, printmaking, and digital art.
SIMPLY MASCULINE showcases portraits of gay men who identify as Bears, 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 in SIMPLY MASCULINE. “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. Works like the Silence series are painted on particle wood panel, a choice that lends a raw tactility that compliments the artist’s classical painting technique and burl and virility of his regal figures.
In López’s own words, “You might want to know more about each subject—and fall in love with him.”