Linus Borgo’s (b. 1995; Stamford, CT) work deals with themes of spiritual elevation, identity, and reclamation of the body. Immersive in both scale and content, his paintings oscillate between sublime depictions of the aftermath of trauma and quotidian moments of daily life in the city.
Much of Borgo’s work is grounded in a formative experience he encountered at the age of 18. Having just begun his BFA at Rhode Island School of Design, Borgo was in a life-altering accident: after climbing to the top of a building with his friend, he made contact with electrical generator equipment and was shocked with 11,000 volts. Following the accident, he underwent 11 surgeries, including the amputation of his left hand. In the years since he has developed and deployed his painting practice as a means of grappling with the new physical and metaphysical limits of the body he lives in, a journey that echoes his experience as a transgender man.
The artist’s lavish compositions are marked by their elegant arrangement of bodies, vibrant color palette, and incorporation of spiritual themes. Often, they explore the anatomy of the human body with near scientific accuracy. Borgo, who is of Italian descent, connects this interest to his childhood summers in Italy where he frequented museums and absorbed the techniques and thematic imagery of the Renaissance masters. The artist adapts these traditions to a contemporary world, centering his practice around questions of gender, recovery and personal transformation.
Borgo’s work has been exhibited throughout the US, including at the Green Family Art Foundation in Dallas, TX and Lenfest Center for the Arts in New York, NY. Recently, Borgo was awarded the Betty Lee Stern Prize for Artists at Columbia University School of the Arts. Borgo was awarded the Anderson Ranch Fellowship at Rhode Island School of Design, where he received his BFA, as well as the Brevoort-Eickemeyer Fellowship at Columbia University, from which he holds an MFA. Borgo will have his debut solo exhibition in New York and first with Yossi Milo Gallery in 2023. The artist currently lives and works in New York, NY.