Juan Fernando Bastos

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Juan Bastos
Juan Fernando Bastos1.jpg
Juan Fernando Bastos

(1958-01-18) 18 January 1958 (age 62)
Caracas, Venezuela
NationalityAmerican of Bolivian descent
EducationMontgomery College
Maryland Institute College of Art
Towson University
Known forPortrait Artist

Juan Bastos (born 18 January 1958, in Caracas, Venezuela) is an Venezuela-American portrait artist of Bolivian descent who also creates other representational art, including pieces that utilize mythology and symbolism. He works primarily in painting and drawing and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, on 18 January 1958,[1] to an expatriate Bolivian family,[2] Bastos' interest in portraiture was sparked at the age of ten when he posed for a portrait by his aunt, Bolivian artist Yolanda de Aguirre.[3] At the age of eleven, he returned to Bolivia with his family and they settled once again in La Paz where he was exposed to the vast Andean landscape and the Aymaran culture with its myths and legends, which became a major influence on his work.[2] His formal training began at age 13 with de Aguirre, as well as artists Agnes Ovando-Sanz de Franck, Gonzalo Rodriguez, and another aunt, noted artist Maria Esther Ballivian.[4][5][6] He was introduced to the masterpieces of the great European artists, copying the works of da Vinci, Michelangelo and Cézanne.[7]

In 1977, Bastos enrolled at Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz where he studied architecture.[4][8] He moved to Washington, D.C. in 1979, enrolling first at Georgetown University and then at Montgomery College.[1] In 1982, he was admitted to the Maryland Institute College of Art where he continued his studies in Fine Arts graduating Cum Laude in 1984.[9] He received his Masters of Fine Arts from Towson University in 1986.[10]

Bastos' portrait of Gore Vidal

From his home in Baltimore[11] Bastos began his career and, in 1988, had his first solo show at gallery Arte Unico in La Paz. It featured portraits of Bolivian society figures, including Ximena Sánchez de Lozada, the wife of future Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada.[1][12] His first major solo exhibition in the U.S. was held in 1989 at the Knight Gomez Gallery in Baltimore. Entitled Myths & Dreams, it showcased Bastos’ emerging representational style that fused his Catholic roots with Andean mythology and symbolism.[2][13] Two years later, the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. presented Bastos’ work in a solo show, which also featured additional oils and pastels from this oeuvre.[14] Another one-man exhibition in La Paz in 1993 showcased both traditional portraits and representational works that explored the myth of the Lake Titicaca mermaids.[15] In 1994, Galeria Borkas in Lima, Peru, presented Milagros, Bastos’ one-man exhibition of works depicting the interplay between the Catholic and pagan belief in miracles and the South American tradition of milagros.[16]

By the late 1980s, Bastos was accepting an increasing number of portrait commissions.[1] Consequently, by 1999 he had established a high enough profile as a society portraitist to be featured, as one of six portrait painters, in a New York Times article on the reemergence of portraiture.[17] Over a two-year period culminating in 2004, Bastos delivered eight portrait commissions to the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine that featured Deans and major donors.[3][18][19] The University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering also commissioned a portrait of its principal donors.[20] Other institutional commissions have included Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, [21] Good Samaritan Hospital,[22] George Washington University,[23] and Harvard University.[24] Bastos has also delivered a number of cover portraits to The Gay & Lesbian Review, featuring celebrities such as Charlize Theron,[25] Ian McKellen,[26] Barney Frank,[27] and Gore Vidal,[28] who compared Bastos’ work to that of John Singer Sargent.[29][30] Bastos has been influenced by the works of Julio Larraz, Odd Nerdrum, and Lucian Freud.[31] Notable private commissions have included portraits of high-profile art collectors, Eugenio López,[32][33] Pamela Joyner,[23] [34] and Philip Niarchos.[32][35] Hundreds of Bastos portraits hang in private residences, universities, government buildings, and corporate offices in California, and throughout the US, South America, and Europe.[23] He works in oils, pastels, pencil, watercolors, acrylics and collage.[36] His portraits are based on live sittings with photographs used for reference.[37]

In 1996, Bastos was featured in the Organization of American States' America Viva television documentary series with the episode, "Juan Fernando Bastos: Portrait of an Artist."[10][13]

Juan Bastos: California Portraits, a retrospective of 22 years of 40[38] of the artist's California portraits was presented by Denenberg Fine Arts in West Hollywood, California, in early November, 2017.[37][23] Most of the portraits were lent by the portrait subjects,[23] many of whom visited the show during its two-week run.[38] The exhibition was part of the Participating Gallery Program of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, that ran from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time was an initiative of the Getty.[37][23][39]

Since 1996, Bastos has lived and worked in Los Angeles, California.[13]


One-Man Shows

  • Portraits, Galeria Arte Unico, La Paz, Bolivia (1988)[12]
  • Myths and Dreams, Knight Gomez Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland (1989)[13]
  • Juan Fernando Bastos, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C. (1991)[14]
  • Juan Fernando Bastos, Galeria Arte Unico, La Paz, Bolivia (1993)[15]
  • Milagros, Galeria Borkas, Lima, Peru (1994)[16]
  • Juan Bastos: California Portraits, Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, California (2017)[37]

Selected Group Shows

  • Director’s Choice, The Life of Maryland Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland (1987)[40]
  • Cinco Enfoques Contemporaneos, Banco de la Nacion Argentina, La Paz, Bolivia (1990)[6]
  • Juan F. Bastos, Dwayne Franklin, Ricardo Hoegg & Alan M. Scherr, Knight Gomez Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland (1992)[41]
  • 4th International Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt (1992)[42]
  • Secret Pages, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, Maryland (1993)[43]Ŏ
  • Je Trouve ou les Relais de la Parole, Galerie Alias, Paris, France (1994)[11]
  • Four Bolivian Artists, Organization of American States, Washington, D.C. (1995)[10]


Selected Portraits


  1. ^ a b c d e Mallo B., Sandra (16 January 1994). "Entre Mitos y Realidades". El Diario (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia. p. Section 5-1.
  2. ^ a b c Perrin de Pero, Marie France (25 April 1992). "Juan Fernando Bastos: Un Pintor Que Fluye Entre la Realidad y Los Suenos". Presencia (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia. p. 6.
  3. ^ a b c Frias, Marisol (January 2009). "Juan Fernando Bastos: Las Personas se Van Pero los Retratos Quedan". Cosas (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia (128): 61.
  4. ^ a b Badani, Javier (21 November 2010). "Retratos: Bastos el Psicologo del Pincel". La Razon (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia. p. Section B-1.
  5. ^ Botaro, Maria Jose (14–21 October 1994). "Painting Portraits: Bolivian Artist Juan Fernando Bastos". Bolivian Times. La Paz, Bolivia. p. 12.
  6. ^ a b Rios G., Mario D. (8 March 1989). "Cinco Expresiones del Arte". Ultima Hora (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia. p. Section 2-1.
  7. ^ "Juan Fernando Bastos y la Pintura Latino Americana". Crisol (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia. 16 March 1989. p. 11.
  8. ^ a b Rivero, Gerson (2 November 2008). "Lapiz de Alto Vuelo Bastos Retrata a Famosos". El Deber (in Spanish). Santa Cruz, Bolivia. p. Section C-2.
  9. ^ "Pictures: Famous MICA Alumni". Baltimore, MD: The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  10. ^ a b c "La Simbologia el Retrato de Juan Fernando Bastos". El Deber (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia. 17 August 1996. p. 7.
  11. ^ a b Auza, Denisse; Cajias, Wara (18 October 1994). "La Paz es… Una Mujer: Entrevista con Juan Fernando Bastos, Pintor". Hoy - Bien Puesto (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia. p. 7.
  12. ^ a b "Galeria de Arte Unico: Retrato". El Diario (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia. 17 July 1988.
  13. ^ a b c d Coimbra, Luiz (Producer/Director) (1996). America Viva - Juan Fernando Bastos: Perfil de un Retratista (in Spanish) (Television production). Washington, D.C.: Departamento de Informacion Publica, Organizacion de Estados Americanos.
  14. ^ a b Attwell., Emily (4 September 1991). "Not Quite Real". Times of the Americas. Miami. p. 17.
  15. ^ a b "Juan Fernando Bastos en Arte Unico". La Razon (in Spanish). La Paz, Bolivia. 3 February 1993. p. 9.
  16. ^ a b "Las Medallas y Milagros de Bastos". El Comercio (in Spanish). Lima, Peru. 31 October 1994. p. Section C-12.
  17. ^ a b La Ferla, Ruth (7 November 1999). "Preserved in Oil". The New York Times. p. Section 9-1. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  18. ^ a b c Pener, Degen (December 2009). "Paint Life Grand?!". Angeleno Magazine. Los Angeles (105): 62.
  19. ^ a b "Keck School Lauds Donors Whose Gifts Changed Campus Forever". USC News. Los Angeles. 28 May 2004. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  20. ^ a b "Viterbi Museum". USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  21. ^ a b "Lawrence Platt, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  22. ^ a b "Audrey Bahr and the Contract Program Office (CPO)" (PDF). Good Samaritan Hospital. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  23. ^ a b c d e f Carlin, Michael Douglas (30 October 2017). "Juan Bastos Captures a Moment in Time". Century City News. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  24. ^ a b "Captured on Canvas". Harvard Magazine: 62. July–August 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  25. ^ a b "Chalize Theron Cover". The Gay & Lesbian Review. Boston. XI (6): Cover. November–December 2004. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  26. ^ a b "Sir Ian McKellen Cover". The Gay & Lesbian Review. Boston. XIV (6): Cover. November–December 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  27. ^ a b "Barney Frank Cover". The Gay & Lesbian Review. Boston. XIX (5): Cover. September–October 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  28. ^ a b "Gore Vidal Cover". The Gay & Lesbian Review. XIV (2): Cover. March–April 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  29. ^ D°az de Oropeza, Gonzalo. "Retratista de Personalidades" (Sunday Supplement). Pagina Siete (in Spanish). La Paz Bolivia: Pagina Siete. pp. 6–8. Retrieved 18 September 2016. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  30. ^ Maal, Pedro (October 2010). "Haute Couture al Pincel: Juan Fernando Bastos". Complot Magazine (in Spanish). Miami (95): 40.
  31. ^ "Un Artista con Futuro: Juan Fernando Bastos". Impacto (in Spanish). Annandale, VA. 4 December 1990. p. 10.
  32. ^ a b c d Habib, Yamily. "Juan Bastos and the Evolution of a Latino-American Perspective in Portraiture". Al Dia News. Philadelphia, PA: Al Dia News Media. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  33. ^ a b "Eugenio Lopez". Juan F. Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  34. ^ Sargent, Antwuan (17 November 2017). "Pamela J Joyner's Mission to Rewrite Art History". Sotheby's. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  35. ^ a b "Philip Niarchos". Juan F. Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  36. ^ Romero, Fernando; Querejazu, Pedro (1989). Pintura Bolviana Siglo XX (in Spanish) (INBO ed.). La Paz, Bolivia: Jaca Book. p. 272.
  37. ^ a b c d Freeman, Chris (30 October 2017). "Portrait Painter Juan Bastos on His Upcoming L.A. Show". The Gay & Lesbian Review. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  38. ^ a b Levine, Debra (3 November 2017). "Juan Bastos: California Portraits: People, Places & Pets". Arts Meme. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  39. ^ "Gallery Exhibitions (Jump to Hollywood & West Hollywood)". Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  40. ^ Dorsey, John (31 July 1987). "More Charming than Chancy". The Baltimore Sun. p. Maryland Live,26.
  41. ^ Dorsey, John (8 May 1991). "Knight Gomez Highlights Mixed Talents of Artists". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  42. ^ International Biennale of Cairo 1992-1993 (Exhibition Catalogue). Egypt: Ministry of Culture. 1992. p. 99.
  43. ^ Dorsey, John (25 September 1993). "In MAP Exhibit, Only Some of the Secrets are Worth Repeating". The Baltimore Sun. p. Section D-2. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  44. ^ "Ricardo Perez Alcala". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  45. ^ "Penelope - The Annunciation". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  46. ^ "Don Bachardy and His Painting of Christopher Isherwood". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  47. ^ "Dean Robert Tranquada, USC Keck School of Medicine". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  48. ^ "Charlize Theron". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  49. ^ "Tennessee Williams Cover". The Gay & Lesbian Review. Boston. XII (6): Cover. November–December 2005. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  50. ^ "Tennessee Williams". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  51. ^ "Gore Vidal". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  52. ^ "Sir Ian McKellen". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  53. ^ "Rudolph Nureyev Cover". The Gay & Lesbian Review. Boston. XV (3): Cover. May–June 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  54. ^ "Rudolph Nureyev". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  55. ^ "Susan Sontag Cover". The Gay & Lesbian Review. Boston. XVI (3): Cover. May–June 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  56. ^ "Susan Sontag". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  57. ^ "John Reardon". Juan F Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  58. ^ "Audrey Barr". Juan F. Bastos - Portrait Artist. Retrieved 19 September 2016.

External links[edit]