Artist Statement

Gender issues and human sexuality have always intrigued me. I have also been interested in the relationship between our spiritual and physical experience. Those themes combined with our connection with each other and the universe are evident in my body of work. 

Throughout the years I have created paintings that play with perception and preconceived ideas of the male and female form. They deconstruct and reconstruct the human body as a way of redefining masculinity and femininity.  My paintings depict beings that overcome their fragmentation through their transfiguration; bodies that transcend time and space creating a link between the internal and external universe. The representation of sectioned and reconstructed nudes suggests sexualities that have been interrupted, manipulated, and magnified for public contemplation. The anatomical references merge into each other creating ambiguous sexual forms where male and female become one. The traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity are erased and the eyes of the spectator are opened to a new realm of possibilities.

The co-existence between anatomical and botanical references is evident in some of these paintings. They harmoniously share their importance in psychological compositions. The images contain fragments of an environment that has been abused as much as the individuality of its inhabitants, but where organic beauty triumphs expanding through each canvas and maintaining the unifying continuity of the image.

During the pandemic I returned to my initial exploration of masculinity, male beauty and homoerotic representation in my artwork.  I drew and painted images that seduce the spectator through figures that function as an homage to the archetypal concept of masculine beauty. They were inspired by ancient Greek sculptures, by Renaissance art and by Instagram images that perpetuate this idea of what is considered desirable in men.  In contrast to them, I worked on a group of drawings of myself and the men that surround me.

After months of anatomically correct drawings and paintings, I started deconstructing the human figure and merging the anatomical references as I used to do in previous collections. I returned to the use of automatic drawing in my sketches and combined them with representations of organic shapes that I found in nature. My palette turned softer, less saturated and colorful.  I found a new love for color and volumetric shapes in my work and the abstract forms that captivate me reappeared in each one of my canvases. 

As time goes by, my work has evolved as much as I have but there is a cohesive progression between each series of paintings. My work of art has always promoted equity and functions as a hopeful invitation to inclusive and harmonious coexistence. They are images of luminous forms that emerge to delight us and suggest introspection; paintings that echo the uncontainable energy that revives,unifies, and transforms the universe.

Héctor Rafael