Colombian artist, Jesús Leguizamo, explores human fragility and loss of identity by obscuring the recognisable: hiding the face. As it becomes more and more distorted and his intentions more and more unreadable, you begin to question whether his work is beautiful or bestial. At times, Leguizamo does not just obscure the face – he obliterates it.
The figures are like those that appear in a dream: when you wake, you can remember a rough silhouette but the face is lost in the depths of your subconscious. Sometimes protective: blurred as if to hide their identity, shielding it from exposure, and sometimes almost cruel: the face seems viciously scratched away – you can just hear the nails clawing at the canvas – Leguizamo evokes curiosity in his viewer. In his piece, Autofiction, there is something unsettling about the figure pulling on his skin as if to peel off a mask. The idea of stripping away the mystery is in a way strangely frightening. I’m not so sure I would want to see what lies beneath. In his collection, Naked, other parts of the body are obscured. Are female form and sexuality being blanketed by the blurs or defiled by the crude brush strokes?
No matter how you look at his work, there is always something strikingly captivating about the paintings: the way in which Leguizamo can so effectively portray expression through an expressionless face.