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John Guzman: Flesh and Bone
Sunday, August 27, 2023
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Through large-scale paintings, Guzman assembles distorted, tangled, and deteriorated figures confined in cramped domestic spaces, concealing their behaviors from others and themselves. He layers heavily textured brush strokes to cut and gouge out a dizzying carnage of disfigured hands, feet, knees, and teeth enmeshed and mangled into new beings. Using a palette of muted colors and dark lines, the pummeling mutilation of the human body creates a visual language for the condition of existence continuing to prevail at the edge of barely living.
A markedly distinct spatial shift emerges in more recent works, pointing to its link between the environment and its inhabitants in the artist’s exploration of new space, styles, subject matter, and attention to simple lines. Working in Connecticut, the artist continues to explore biomorphic forms, yet addresses the fragility and interiority of the psyche and altered landscapes. Throughout the work, Guzman visualizes inexpressible yet consequential conditions of suffering and, in so doing, articulates a departure from cyclical patterns of self-destruction becoming his own reality.