For painter and video artist Hugo Crosthwaite, life has unfolded in equal parts on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and he has come to understand that in a way the border region itself is its own nation, with a unique culture that is both blended and divided, and a population comfortable with dualities. Both his films and graphite and ink drawings on canvas — often at monumental scale — exist in a black-and-white palette and are rich with regal, stylized detail. In his portrayal of the everyday people of the border, Crosthwaite channels influences from Goya to Posada, surrealism and futurism, with a penchant for gestural abstraction and a narrative cinematic wit.

Hugo Crosthwaite, La Güera, 2018, Acrylic, ink, graphite on canvas, 75 x 75 in. (Luis De Jesus Los Angeles)

This weekend’s opening reception for Crosthwaite’s Tijuas! is long-planned but it suddenly doubles as an award celebration, since he just last week garnered first place at the 2019 edition of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s triennial American portraiture project, The Outwin.

Luis De Jesus, 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Mid-City; opening reception: Sat., Nov. 9, 6-8 p.m.; exhibition: Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Nov. 9-Dec. 21; free. (310) 838-600,

Hugo Crosthwaite, Tijuana Bible, #4, 2018 book cover, Ink on paper, 13 x 18 in. (Luis De Jesus Los Angeles)

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