Young Artist to watch – Alex Becerra

In keeping with my ongoing interest in the brash and the contemporary faux naïf artists, the young artist to watch this week is LA based painter – Alex Becerra, who is creating quite a stir with a reputation as a provocateur, creating comparisons to both Philip Guston and Mike Kelley.

Alex Becerra Woman with red crocs, 2015 Oil on canvas stretched over panel 72 x 64 in 182.9 x 162.6 cm
Woman with red crocs, 2015 Oil on canvas stretched over panel 72 x 64 in 182.9 x 162.6 cm

He has been labeled the ‘Outlaw’ by Modern Painters and you can see why, distorted bizarrely sexualized figures in contrast to thick impasto landscapes, sickly rich and saturated.

Becerra joins the ranks of LA artists who like Danny Fox, paint is such a simple yet expressive manner that there is no getting away from the raw energy and vitality of their work.

His brushwork is fast and loose, leaving areas bare and dirty, whilst in other parts clogged with thick paint almost directly from the tube.

His Latin-American heritage may draw comparisons with Eddie Martinez, but where Martinez plays upon distorted comic figures, Becerra is reckless and provocative, creating thrillingly explicit work which is uncompromising and lacking in all restraint, making it visceral and edgy.

Becerra delights in the excess and grotesque, his fascination with the everyday, even his working process seen in installations of empty pizza boxes used as impromptu portfolio, marker pen works on paper, scattered across the floor, amongst which are featured a ‘free massage’ guide, all reflect his source material.

This artist’s work is not for the faint hearted and there is no getting away from it, you can be sure that collectors are eyeing up his pieces with keen interest.

Alexa Becerra Big Booty T-Girl In Studio City, 2016 Oil on linen 71 x 63 in 180.3 x 160 cm
Alexa Becerra Big Booty T-Girl In Studio City, 2016 Oil on linen 71 x 63 in 180.3 x 160 cm

Alex Becerra was born in 1989, Valencia, California and obtained his BFA, Otis College of Art, LA California. He has had solo shows at ltd los angeles, Los Angeles, CA – ‘Las Putas Problematicas’ and a forthcoming show at Shane Campbell, Chicago, IL.
ltdlosangeles.com/alexbecerra

I Love Blondes, 2014 Oil on panel, mixed medium 72 x 61 in  182.9 x 154.9 cm
I Love Blondes, 2014 Oil on panel, mixed medium 72 x 61 in 182.9 x 154.9 cm

About Ben Austin

Ben Austin studied History of Art at Reading University. He started Catto Contemporary in Shoreditch where he was responsible for helping to launch the careers of several artists and showed Anthony Micallef and Banksy in a curated exhibition entitled ‘Perverse Pop’ back in 2001. Austin has worked at Art Review, before setting himself up as an independent curator and through Austin Enterprises he staged the legendary Frieze opening night show/party entitled ‘Decadence, Decay and the Demimonde’ at Home House in 2007, which featured art on loan from the Saatchi Gallery (Marcus Harvey, Liz Neal and Barry Reigate). He has also curated exhibition at the Blouin Foundation – ‘After Dark’ series, featuring acclaimed artists such as Alice Anderson. He has been on the judging panel for the ‘Young Masters’ prize. More recently he curated ‘Art Britannia’ during Miami Basel featuring a collection of contemporary British artists and acted as the initial curator and advisor the The Dot Project Gallery in Fulham. Ben Austin acts as an art advisor and dealer. He writes for numerous publications including Artlyst and FAD.