John Sonsini’s portraits of Hispanic labourers are fraught with physical, psychological, and sexual tension. Developed from life models which he hires from Los Angeles work sites, Sonsini’s portraits draw from the concentrated relationship between artist and subject; each painting captures the bravado, vulnerability, and self-possession of his male sitters with rarefied honesty. Expressively rendered with lambent hues, the figures in Daniel, Rudy, Jose, Gabriel gather with nonchalant composure. Confronting the viewer with their outward gazes, Sonsini posits the perception of class, culture, and ethnicity as subjective position, challenging conceptions of ‘otherness’.

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