Molossus is honored to publish these two portraits of Los Angeles poet Charles Bukowski, who for much of his life lived within a few miles of our offices. Painter Soid Pastrana was born in 1970 in Juchitán, Oaxaca, Mexico, a hub of Isthmus Zapotec arts and literature. His paintings have been displayed around the world, from Indonesia to the United States, and are in the permanent collections of Museo López Claro, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Museo de La Revolución, in Havana, Cuba, and Museo Quinta Casa de Correos, in D.F., Mexico. Of all the indigenous painters of the Oaxacan Isthmus, his paintings are among the most recognizable with the bright blues and oranges of their backgrounds, their incorporation of collage techniques, and their frequent allusions to pop culture.
These two paintings come from a series of Bukowski portraits commissioned by a Mexico City literary magazine. In conversation, Pastrana recently told me he admired Bukowski’s style, and I think his painting contains some of the same brash humor and underlying intelligence of Bukowski’s poetry.
Pastrana’s latest project is a collaboration with Isthmus Zapotec poet Víctor Terán, which will be brought by Molossus to Los Angeles in celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of Mexican independence. More information on that exhibit is forthcoming.