Hugo Crosthwaite was born in Tijuana, Mexico in 1971 and grew up in the tourist-heavy beach town of Rosarito. He graduated from San Diego State University in 1997 with a BA in Applied Arts and Sciences. Currently, Crosthwaite lives and works between Tijuana, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn.

In 2013, Crosthwaite was chosen to represent Mexico in the California-Pacific Triennial curated by Dan Cameron. For this exhibition, inspired by the Mexican carpas, traditional tent shows that traveled along the border, he will create a site- specific mixed media installation. He was also included in the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art's The New World, for which he created a 42 foot mural titled Guadalupana March.

In 2012, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles mounted a solo exhibition, Tijuanerias, consisting of 102 drawings and installation exploring Tijuana's "Black Legend" which mythologizes the border city. In the same year, Crosthwaite was featured in several museum exhibitions including The San Diego Museum of Art's Behold, America! and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego's The Very Large Array.

In 2010, reading a review in Art in America, Richard Harris commissioned Crosthwaite to create the opening work for Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection. The monumental, 25 x 11 ft. graphite on board drawing, Death March, was on view at the Chicago Cultural Center from January - July 2012.

For Crosthwaite's solo exhibition at The San Diego Museum of Art, Brutal Beauty-Drawings by Hugo Crosthwaite, he completed a monumental drawing entitled A Tail for Two Cities over a two-week period at the museum.

A partial list of Crosthwaite's solo gallery exhibitions include: Dark Dreams- Selected Works 1997-2010, Noel-Baza Fine Art Gallery, San Diego, 2010; Escape Rates Escaparates, Pierogi 2000, Brooklyn, 2009; Hugo Crosthwaite, Mason Murer Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia, 2008; Maniera Obscura/In a Dark Manner, ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, Miami, 2005; and Caprichos, Trópico de Nopal Gallery, Los Angeles, 2004.

The artist's work has been included in numerous collective exhibitions throughout the United States and Mexico. Lion Hunt was selected by juror Carter Foster (Curator of Drawings at New York's Whitney Museum of American Art) for inclusion in the 22nd International Juried Show at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. Untitled (Enfermas Facilmentes), received recognition in La Primera Bienal de Dibujo de las Americas (First Biennial of Drawings in the Americas) Rafael Cauduro Tijuana 2006. Chocada and Hombre Sobre Mesa were included in the VII Bienal Monterrey FEMSA de Pintura, Escultura e Instalación, in 2005 Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

For a complete list of exhibition history and press, please download the Resume (PDF) below.


    download image >    download image >

I create works of art that are beautiful. Not a beauty that duplicates the commonplace aesthetic molded by advertising and mass media imagery but a personal intimate beauty. The depiction of human suffering and violence permeates my works. The works themselves are not violent, rather thoughtful and rife with seductive imagery. I explore the complexities of human expression, everything from alienation to acceptance and even celebration.

I alternate between mythological subjects and contemporary ones, often combining the Two. Francisco Goya, Eugene Delacroix, Theodore Gericault and Arnold Bocklin are among the many artists that have inspired my work. I also include an exploration of modern abstraction in my compositions. The joining of abstraction with classical imagery creates a feeling of spontaneity and vagueness within each work. I consider each work to be a vision of mine in which history, mythology, and abstraction collide. This combination creates a timeless and beautiful product.

I love the immediacy and tactility of drawing, the breaking of the white surface with images from my own personal narrative. I let the act of drawing dictate my compositions. My works are completed using graphite and charcoal. This medium allows me to seamlessly combine classical figurative representation with modern abstraction. This mixture creates feelings of chaos and spontaneity, reminiscent of Tijuana, Mexico, the city from where I came. In my depiction of figures, I am dedicated to using classical technique, minute in detail. The absence of color allows each work to be viewed as an objective documentation of events from which the spectator's involvement is forbidden. It is not my objective to create compositions to which viewers can relate. It is my intent to create works that maintain their mysteriousness in spite of their classical figurative representation.

Artist Statement (PDF) >
Resume (PDF) >