Jorge Posada’s works take anatomy to another level.
His several-foot-tall paintings suggest knees, legs and sometimes just the act of an arm whisking through the air. The smoothly painted tendons twist and bend on the canvases, appearing both strong and vulnerable.
“More recently the human form, which is always a central element, is disappearing a little more with a suggested human presence [in its place],” the Colombian-born artist, who has lived in New York City for the last 28 years, said.
Many of the works Posada is displaying at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery in Long Island City through June 16, in a show simply called “Paintings & Drawings,” employ deep blood reds.
“It’s difficult to explain why I use different colors,” Posada said pointing at the many red-heavy works in the gallery. “People say red is violence and passion. Maybe it’s my Latino side? People say it’s more dramatic.”
But lately the artist — no known relation to the baseball player of the same name — has been using grays and ochres without any loss of dramatism. The pieces still feel intimate and strong, like peering through a microscope at a blood vessel.
“Maybe it’s my European side?” he said with a laugh. He has dedicated collectors in Belgium, New York and Colombia.
“Something can be just as dramatic in black and white,” he said, adding that the choice of color isn’t up to him.
It comes from his subconscious. “I listen to the painting,” Posada said.
He sketches because he loves to. He doesn’t transfer these drawings to the page but instead lets the memory of the work drive his vision, and those brushstrokes and feelings drive different decisions on color.
Beyond the connection he has with his works, he hopes they will create a connection with others.
“My art is not to give a message,” he said, “but hopefully creates a connection.”
These works will be shown along with a few of his non-figurative works in a series called “Urban Walls.”
Posada uses photos of urban landscapes as inspiration for smaller abstract paintings. Although they capture a different subject, they help him paint more abstract figures.
He began his career in Medell’n, Colombia, as a classically trained artist, but has been moving into the realm of abstraction ever since. These small “Urban Walls” help gear his mind that way.
As he moves into more abstract territory, sharper lines and arrows appear in the artworks to delineate planes of field — a way to create structure in an abstract world without. But even these loose shapes still suggest a body.
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through June 16, 12 to 6 p.m.
Where: Jeffrey Leder Gallery, 21-37 45 Road, Long Island City
Tickets: Free. (917) 767-1734