José Lerma, Rosas Grises (Pink), 2022; Limited Edition Print
José Lerma (b. 1971, Seville, Spain) grew up in Puerto Rico and currently lives between San Juan and Chicago. He received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin Madison and BA from Tulane University. The artist’s practice is formally rooted in an investigation of painting in the expanded field, via elaborate installations incorporating everyday materials common to work and life. A stylistic intersection of classical European painting and low-brow pop art, this artist’s ballooning, textural portraiture and figuration overflows with irony suffused with instantly recognizable iconography in striking patterns and forms. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Kemper Museum of Art, (Kansas City, MO); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL); and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico), among others. His work has been written about extensively in the press, including in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Artforum.
Rosas Grises (Pink) is from a series of works depicting the everyday, almost-always welcome gesture of presenting a bouquet of flowers. Originally created using silicone on polypropylene—two of the most commonly traded chemical industrial products—Lerma creates a portrait of bodily autonomy and political economy within the fabric of global capitalism. Highlighting the ubiquitous exploitation of Latino construction workers that undergirds the American economy, Lerma’s material is inseparable from its creator; the plastic becomes imbued in both the social and physical gesture. Lerma’s ocular inversion presents a spectrum of gray flowers with a deep brown hand from a cuffed, purple gingham sleeve against a bright rose background. Sculptural strokes carve Poppish details into the dramatic shapes, heightening the irony of the charged composition with an intensity that is characteristic of the artist’s buoyant precision. The artist has hand-embellished ten prints in the edition with colored pencil, making each piece a unique work.
Rosas Grises (Pink), 2022
Archival pigment print
24 x 17.75 inches
Edition of 10
Hand-embellished, signed, and numbered by the artist
Edition of 30 with 5AP + 1PP
Signed and numbered by the artist
“I’m thrilled to be supporting Independent Curators International, as the work they do exposing communities to new perspectives and giving platforms to emerging artists is critical for maintaining a robust level of international discourse,” says Lerma on the collaboration. “They have been a constant champion for Latin artists and narratives.”
ART FOR CHANGE will donate a portion of proceeds from each print sold to Independent Curators International in support of the organization’s initiatives creating strong art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement. As in all series, artists will receive 50% of the net proceeds of print sales.
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*Unframed prints ship within 1-3 weeks.
*Framed prints ship within 3-6 weeks.