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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Hugo McCloud: Burdened


Sean Kelly Gallery / New York / Art

While quarantining in his studio in Mexico, the self-taught artist Hugo McCloud found inspiration through virtual means. Stuck inside and reading the news, he saw photographs of laborers carting heavy goods and migrants crossing choppy waters. These images were springboards for the works in the exhibition “Burdened,” which he says is “about the idea of the person that is burdened in life.” While the first two parts of the exhibition show McCloud’s delicate yet boldly colored re-creations of refugees and workers, the third is a study of McCloud’s attempts to cope with quarantine—illustrations of flowers and plants, the inaccessible beauty of the outdoors. The project marks the artist’s first figurative works as well as his first experiments with a single medium. Known for using an assortment of discarded and raw mediums such as tar and roofing materials, McCloud here collages single-use plastic bags—to astonishing effect—in scenes of survival, vitality, and life. —C.J.F.

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