José Luis Carrascosa

Fúcares Madrid

On a surface level, José Luis Carrascosa’s paintings are about sex and seduction. The pinups painted on Carrascosa’s canvases, ironically titled “Ninfas” (Nymphs), are doubtless entries in a certain contemporary dictionary of erotica, something soft-core like Penthouse. What is truly interesting about them is the degree to which they express tedium. Sex, Carrascosa tells us, is a discourse—one that is extremely various but ultimately always limited.

The same is true of painting. It, too, is a language of possibilities and multiple combinations, but a limited one, and therefore it, too, must play against the problem of repetition, of boredom. As is well known, it was precisely on the level of repetitive tedium that the Marquis de Sade believed “perversion” pointed to the limits of language. Carrascosa explores this double limit of eroticism and painting. In his works, erotic images are

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.