Lorena Garcia Mateu’s Obstructed Portraits

Lorena Garcia Mateu has created a series of stunning portraits of young women, but almost all of them have their faces obscured. Mateu’s warm colors and thick paint strokes create a soft ambience to his paintings, without hard lines or defined edges. But in these beautiful, soft settings, his figures are twisted and mutated, with obstructions growing out of their faces. The obstructions themselves are organic and natural things, like coral or flowers, but are growing in unnatural places. These figures leave the viewer wondering: are we supposed to find these images beautiful or horrifying? Are these harmonious mixtures of women and the natural world, or monsters?