Mexico City, 1971
For Heriberto Quesnel universal history is the axis conducting his work. From self-taught formation, his work presents in flawless images learned from classical painting placed in the playful narrative structure of the comic strips of his childhood. This flexibility allows him to expand freely in painting, drawing and photography within a vast universe of objects and characters, creating unique images where he manages to blend classic art with socio-political elements and sarcastic tones as in Flammable (2020) where President Trump appears holding a match in front of American Gothic (Grant Wood 1930) about to start a fire.
From collecting objects, magazines and books from old libraries and flea markets, Heriberto develops his work rewriting and reinterpreting history in several ways to depict the present. His work on paper encompasses altered portraits of statesmen and dictators as well as comic strips or mass media cultural references. Intervening pages of nineteenth century publications and pages from 1950's magazines with drawings, overlays, cutouts or writing, Quesnel decontextualizes and resignifies the object in such a way that the past serves a support to portray new stories reminding the cyclicality of history.
Quesnel began his work in the 1990's and by 1996 had his first solo exhibition. He was recipient of the grant for Creative Young People of the National Council for Culture and Arts in 1997 and 1999. In 2001 he generated The History Book, a pictorial project that granted him the prize in the XXI National Encounter of Young Art.
His work is recognized in Mexico and abroad. Among other distinctions are honorable mentions in the third and fourth Biennial of Painting and Printmaking Alfredo Zalce 2001 and 2003, the 1st Biennial of Painting Pedro Coronel 2008, and the National Visual Arts Biennial Yucatan 2009. His work has been honored abroad in 2003 with a grant from the Vermont Studio Center residency in Johnson Vermont USA and in 2005 with the recognition of young art L'Horta in Valencia Spain where he made a series of exhibitions between 2004 and 2005.
In 2011 he returned to Spain through an artist residency program abroad from the National Council for Culture and the Arts to create Common Border, a project in which Quesnel represents through subtle anatomical paintings the staggering images of mutilated bodies from the war on drug trafficking in Mexico.
In 2013 he was awarded with the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation grant for residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson Vermont USA and in 2015 whit the grant for residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha Nebraska.
His work is included in the book 100 painters of tomorrow published by Kurt Beers and Thames & Hudson, 2014.
He lives and works in Mexico City.