Jose Luis Carranza is an artist working out of Peru. He attended the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes del Peru, a school which is known for sticking to the more classical side of art training. Along with this technical training, he has also spent years studying the work of Peter Paul Rubens and Francisco Goya. In 2009 the French embassy in Peru held the National Passport Contest, and after having won this contest, Jose studied in France and was able to further dissect the work of European Masters. Of course like all good artists Jose is not just looking at the past, modern artists such as Dan Schutz and Neo Rauch are also great inspirations for his work — most recognizable in the way the Jose applies the paint. His work talks about the idea of religion and politics and the state they are in, and the belief that we are born into a world of violence. The paintings have a foreboding quality to them, and even though their may be multiple characters in one piece, there is this sense of isolation to them.
The most striking thing to me about Jose’s work, is the style in which he paints as well as the eyes and visage of the characters. These figures are meant to be everyman, and the choppy style of paintings the faces is meant to symbolize that the figures are not fully formed yet. While the paintings already have this unnerving feel about them, the eyes drive this feeling to the very core of the viewer. The gaze is piercing, and in a way looks as though the figures in some of these works are scrutinizing the viewers as opposed to the other way around. Take a look at the preview images below, and then make sure to head over to Jose’s website to see more and keep up with new work and events.