New York, 525 West 22nd Street
Julio Larraz’s oil paintings are set in an imagined world that combines elements of reality and fantasy. By manipulating and altering the familiar, he challenges the viewer to more closely examine and engage with the ideas embedded in his precisely rendered scenes. Each painting requires a careful interrogation in order to decipher its multilayered content.
Larraz consistently and consciously pulls from both his former career as a caricaturist and his extensive knowledge of and appreciation for art history. The resulting works often incorporate elements of satire and social commentary, while frequently destabilizing the senses with playful spatial disparities. Through his composition, distinct imagery, and clever title choices, he also builds layers of art historical references. His affinity for marine imagery is particularly clear in the works of this exhibition, with multiple depictions of boats and various other vessels.
The illusory settings of Larraz’s paintings encourage the viewer to enter into the realm of the imagined, while remaining partially rooted in reality. We are delightfully forced to reconcile these two worlds and wrestle with the tangible ambiguities that he presents. As Sullivan notes, “Two worlds seem to collide, and we are thoroughly confounded.”
On view through August 17, 2018