José Lerma’s practice is formally rooted in an investigation of painting in the expanded field. His exhibitions often include elaborate installations that incorporate such everyday items as office materials, musical...
José Lerma’s practice is formally rooted in an investigation of painting in the expanded field. His exhibitions often include elaborate installations that incorporate such everyday items as office materials, musical instruments, and home furnishings. Lerma portrays his subjects in ways that elevate the mundane and trivialize the grand, crafting a visual world that is both celebratory and absurd. Simultaneously rooted in classical European painting and lowbrow pop art, his works express the tragic comedy of global Post-Colonialism in eye-popping and instantly relatable ways.
This work is part of a series of works depicting the heartwarming, everyday gesture of a hand presenting a bouquet of flowers. The image is constructed out of silicone on polypropylene, two of the most commonly traded chemical industrial products on the planet.
In the tension between the heroic and the pathetic, Lerma creates a space to examine the vast network of sociological, political and economic forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, contemporary culture. Sometimes, as with this series, his subject matter is rooted in the everyday. His subjects have also included international figures such as American politician John Kerry, economist Milton Friedman, and King Charles II of Spain; pop culture icons such as Julio Iglesias; everyday bureaucrats, bankers and administrators; personal relations such as his mother and father; and iconic religious scenes, such as the last supper.