Lucas Cristino is a Brazilian artist working in New York City. Born in the small municipality of Leopoldina in the Southeastern state of Minas Gerais, Cristino moved to the United States in 2012 at the age of twenty-one. Initially prodded by friends to make his first drawings with pastels, he was quickly discovered to possess an impeccably raw talent both untouched by the tiresome rigors of formal education and unaffected by the idiosyncrasies of benevolent encouragement.

Cristino’s work is informed by an accumulation of experience in the absurdities of memory and the juxtaposition of pain and joy. His vibrant large-scale paintings serve as metaphysical meditations on time and place where memory and dream intermingle in a space that is sensually seductive and yet often oddly unsettling. The natural landscape is almost always seeping through his compositional set-ups.  Figures gaze both outwardly and inwardly and hover somewhere between the lushness of the rich countryside and the stark dilapidated underbelly of urban poverty and oppression.

His paintings often employ playful nods to Tropicalia, Magical Realism, Cubism and Surrealism—a compositional sensibility that is inspired by a voracious exploration of Old Masters and Modern geniuses as well as his substantial time in the fashion industry on both sides of the camera. He has a seemingly alchemical ability to make the commonplace peculiar and the miraculous ordinary.

Lucas Cristino is more than a mere autodidact, at times he seems to be almost divinely inspired.

David Aaron Greenberg
August 2020

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