José Lerma & Héctor Madera

Selected works by José Lerma & Héctor Madera

José Lerma & Héctor Madera
Bust of Emanuel Augustus


Paper bust

Dimensions variable

Lerma and Madera, Spanish- born artists who live and work in the USA, are interested in “the minor histories, the B-sides”. On discovering the work of Emanuel Augustus – the recently retired American journeyman boxer, known for his clowning about in the ring – Lerma and Madera decided to honour him with a portrait bust appropriate to such an overlooked yet fascinating figure.
Their initial interest was sparked by his evocative and imperial-sounding name, which made him seem a worthy figure for "a marble bust"; such formalities seemed inappropriate, though, for a man nicknamed The Drunken Master. The work is, instead, composed of coloured paper crumpled around hidden supports, and is comically outsized for a portrait bust, awkwardly dominating the gallery space. Abstracted to the point of near unrecognizability, Emanuel’s face is no likeness; rather, it’s an attempt to capture the chaotic heroism of the man himself.
The paper seems to mimic the swollen forms of punchbags, the head to sway as though reeling from an uppercut. But it’s also a homage to Emanuel himself, not merely a satire. Lerma and Madera have described Emanuel’s unpredictable boxing style as “an aesthetic endeavor, quirkiness and humour over the ‘I’m all business’ attitude of most athletes”. Ultimately, the work is a tribute from two artists to another, a nod to a kindred spirit.

Text by Ben Street

José Lerma & Héctor Madera's Biography

José Lerma & Héctor Madera
José Lerma
Born in 1971, Seville, Spain
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Chicago, IL


The Credendialist, CAM Raleigh, USA

Jíbaro Jizz, Roberto Paradise, Puerto Rico
The Lightweight, Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL,

I am sorry I am Perry, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York , NY
Spanish Revival, Galeria Marta Cervera, Madrid, Spain

El Pendejo, Galerie Loock/Wohnmaschine, Berlin, Germany
Black Room, Green Gallery East, Milwaukee, WI

Cheonan-si Chungman, ARARIO Gallery, Seoul, Korea
New Prints by José Lerma, Marty Walker Gallery, Dallas, TX

The Golden Sea, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY

Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium
Galleria Il Capricorno, Venice, Italy

Folklore of Our Times, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY
Two Beats Off, Southfirst Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
As if Accepting Defeat, Galeriá Comercial , San Juan, PR


De Bayamon a la 15, Kart Wash, Puerto Rico
Collection Exhibition, Berezdivin Collection, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Go Figure, Dodge Gallery, New York, NY,curated by Eddie Martinez
To Tell the Truth, Monya Rowe Gallery, New York, NY
Unfinished Paintings, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Los Angeles, CA
Dirt Don’t Hurt, Jolie Laide, Philadelphia, PA, curated by Bill Saylor
Irritable Abstraction, Julius Caesar, Chicago, IL, curated by Susanne Doremus
A Person of Color/A Mostly Orange Exhibition, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, WI,curated by José Lerma
Go Figure, The Hogar Collection, Brooklyn, NY

Lush Life, curated by Franklin Evans and Omar Lopez- Chahoud, Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY
Museos Portátiles. Parking 10, Can Xalant, Barcelona, Spain
Don’t Piss on Me and Tell Me It’s Raining, curated by Bad At, Apex Art, New York, NY

Héctor Madera
Born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY


Optical Borderline: housing development project”, Special Project for photo miami 2007, Miami, USA.

Optical Borderline: housing development project”, Museo de Arte
Contemporáneo (MAC), San Juan, Puerto Rico.


The Pantry Party, curated by Ava Hassinger, The Brooklyn Fire Proof, Brooklyn, New York.

College Art Association NY Area MFA Exhibition, Hunter College/Times Square Gallery,Manhattan, New York.
Espacio Entre Medio, curated by Christopher Rivera, Chemi's Room, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A PERSON OF COLOR/ a mostly orange exhibition, curated by Jose Lerma, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Wrong Miracle”, curated by Oscar Santillan, NoMiNIMO Espacio Cultural, Guayaquil, Ecuador.

4.0, Rule Gallery, Denver, Colorado.
A Feast of Fools, curated by Sarvia Jasso and Kathryn Garcia, Second Floor, Brooklyn, New York.
I want to believe that something extraordinary can happen, curated by Lisa Bowman and Sally Webster, Bowman/Bloom Gallery, Manhattan, New York.

Painting with Pictures, curated by David Gibson, Savannah Spirit, Asya Ginsberg, Casita
Maria Center for the Arts and Education, Bronx, New York.
From NY with Love, curated by Glorimarta Linares, Don't Projects, Paris.

MNA09, curated by Marilu Purcell, ICP, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Painting, curated by Charo Oquet, Edge Zones, Miami.
Can't rape the willing, curated by Sarvia Jasso, Second Floor, Brooklyn, New York.
From NY with Love, curated by Glorimarta Linares, Galeria Candela, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

En Sus Marcas, curated by Rebeca Noriega Costas, Sala de Artes, Sagrado Corazon, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Landings 8, curated by Joan Duran, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwán.

Art of Uncertainty, curated by Charo Oquet for Edge Zones, San Salvador El Salvador.
Pop, curated by Ralph Vázquez, Petrus Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Donde los milagros ocurren, curated by Abdiel Segarra , Galería Candela, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Bastardos, curated by Ralph Vázquez, Petrus Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Segunda/Tercera Planta: Casa Candela, curated by Tony Cruz and Abdiel Segarra, Casa Candela, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
La Espera: Modos y Metodos, curated by Abdiel Segarra Galería Candela, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
HOY, curated by Celso González for BLACKBOXART, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Look forward, Look back, Look around, tag ROM, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.