José Luis Cuevas

México City 1934 – 2017



Although José Luis Cuevas works in several mediums such as sculpture, engraving and painting, his aesthetics are heavily influenced by his inclination for drawing and the techniques of paper itself. He mainly works with ink, gouache, watercolors and pencil.


Cuevas is best known for his rendering of characters that finds themselves in the outskirts of society. The marginal nature of his figurative and realistic protagonists, such as prostitutes or crazy people, illustrates figures that have lost their place in the society – a world of misconducts where things are disrupted from the natural order. The style and influences of his work are often fixed to the darker side of life, depicting the debasement of humanity. This social position of his characters is not surprising, as Cuevas was one of the main figures of the generation of the rupture and rejection of the Mexican muralist movement, challenging the established national art scene.


The neofigurativism of Cuevas works invites the viewer into an inner landscape of the protagonist, offering us unique narratives of the monstrous and marginal, where spaces and environments are reduced in favor of a figuration of graphic, lifelike inner character.