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.
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.
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.
These days it is the default storyline of a non-British arts journalist to deign that their local street artist is “Tel Aviv’s Banksy”, or “Wanaka’s Banksy”. Here in Madrid, this artist just calls himself Banksy’s cousin, or at least that could be one interpretation of his artistic name.
Primo Banksy is a trained artistic talent and uses his carefully rendered ink and watercolor illustrations to highlight cultural figures in art, politics, literature – like John & Yoko, the girl from the Velázquez’ Las Meninas, or this portrait of Federico García Lorca, the poet, playwright, and theater director.
Meanwhile the street artist known as TVBoy is much closer in style and sentimentality to the Bristol-born street art man of mystery known around the world. The Barcelona based Italian favors the pop side of so-called “urban art” here, his filter treatments of popular figures a sure hit for passersby who relate to the subject.
Our thanks to BSA reader Ricardo Hernandez who shares with
us some recent shots while strolling the streets of Madrid.