Artist Statement (PDF)
Resume (PDF)

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

His 2012 solo exhibition, Tijuanerias, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, consists of 102 drawings along with an installation environment, exploring Tijuana’s “Black Legend” which mythologizes the border city.

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, is currently on view at the Chicago Cultural Center through July 2012.

Crosthwaite was the subject of a solo exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art, Brutal Beauty-Drawings by Hugo Crosthwaite, for which 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 in Mexico and the United States include, Dark Dreams-Selected Works 1997-2010, Noel-Baza Fine Art Gallery, San Diego, March - April 2010; Escape Rates Escaparates, Pierogi 2000, Brooklyn, New York, October - November 2009; Hugo Crosthwaite, Mason Murer Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia, February - April 2008; Maniera Obscura/In a Dark Manner, ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, Miami, Florida, March - November 2005; and Caprichos, Trópico de Nopal Gallery, Los Angeles, in 2004.

The artist's work has been included in several collective exhibitions throughout the United States and Mexico. A 48 x 48 inch drawing on canvas, 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. A 72 x 60 inch drawing on canvas, 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. Two drawings (Chocada and Hombre Sobre Mesa) by Crosthwaite were included in the VII Bienal Monterrey FEMSA de Pintura, Escultura e Instalación, in 2005 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. A 6-foot square architectural drawing was included in the XII Bienal Rufino Tamayo organized by the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City and shown at many venues throughout Mexico from 2004 to early 2006. A large figurative piece (Sueño Pequeño) by Crosthwaite was included in Mujeres de Juárez: Art Against Crime, an exhibition of works by artists protesting the violence against women in Juarez, Mexico.

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 evencelebration.

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.