Jonathan Torres paintings create fictional histories, placing disturbing or otherworldly events set within the reality of Puerto Rico or other familiar locations. The altered reality that his work presents often feels like a vignette from a repressed fantasy or a dark premonition. Torres’ intent is to create a portal into a parallel world that coexists with the music of merengue and salsa, palm trees, piña coladas, and the abundance of images linked to the nostalgic idea of tropical paradise in the Caribbean. His baroque, expressionistic style and highly textured mixed media paintings allow him to portray a landscape of tropical decay. The dystopian fictions merge with the reality of Torres’ source material and create an uncanny and dark picture of the future that is very close to the world in which we live today.
Torres was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1983, received his BFA in 2009 from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas, San Juan, Puerto Rico, AD at The School of Design Altos de Chavón, Dominican Republic, 2006 and his MFA from Brooklyn College in 2012 under the mentorship of Vito Acconci. Nominee of the Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, Torres was selected for the Biennale Mercosul (Brazil 2016), won the Charles G. Shaw Award (NY, 2012) and the Arcos Dorados Award (Argentina, 2011). Torres has been exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions between New York and Puerto Rico for over ten years. Has participated in artist residencies including the Sharpe Walentas Studio Program in Brooklyn, NY. His work has been featured in Flash Art, Beautiful/Decay, and Art Observed, among other publications. Torres lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and his work is included in important collections such as the Museum of Fine Art, Boston and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico.