Paintings of “Centropelia” in Madrid by Juan Yksuhc

Juan Yksuhc is more oil-on-canvas than aerosol-on-steel, but he’s done the latter with the same fantastical figurative free-wheeling quotidian panache as the former. Rich tones and stretched torsos give way to static snapshots of real life, always rendered in a fevered fervor.

Juan Yksuhc. Centropelia. Madrid. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)

Here in Madrid his paintings are episodic and serially thematic, you may say. Photographer Ricardo Hernandez seeks them, warmed with curiosity at their formal classicism, their nonplussed aplomb and sometimes obvious symbolism. It’s a different kind of lengua de la calle.

Juan Yksuhc. Centropelia. Madrid. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)

Yksuhc in fact is not eager to be unpacked, preferring the graphic manifestation of a historical present to catch you in your moment, ready to walk into the world he’s just painted for you.

For example he tells us that this series “Centropelia” is an allusion to the conflicted realities bound within gentrification; as modern as it is historic with its themes of speculation, expulsion, and the spiraling economic violence of rent.

Juan Yksuhc. Centropelia. Madrid. (photo © Gema Rodríguez y Guillermo de la Madrid)
Juan Yksuhc. Centropelia. Madrid. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)