Self-taught Mexican painter Pedro Bonnin creates lavishly rendered, hyperrealistic paintings in oil that combine whimsy and provocation. His stylish paintings of tumbling, lingerie-clad people wearing sunglasses call to mind the cheeky and subversive work of fashion photographers like Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin, while his close-up portraits of men and women contorting their faces are a virtuoso display of illusionistic technique. As a young man, Bonnin traveled to Europe, where he visited galleries and studied Italian masters like Giotto and Simone Martini. A student of philosophy as well as art, he uses his artwork to explore ideas of reality and perception, as well as Picasso’s maxims that art is a weapon and a lie that speaks about the truth.

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Rain of birds and Flowers, 2022

Acrylic on paper
22 x 30 in