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Hector Hernandez at BLUEOrange

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Commutes are something we are all familiar with. We spend anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more sitting in our cars just to get to work. The world around us melts away as we focus on getting from point A to point B, slowly becoming complacent and unaware of the space we occupy. What if you took the time, though, to slow down, pull over, and visit the places you pass so many times a week? It’s this simple idea that drives Hector Hernandez’s work in The Longest Distance, on view at BLUEorange Gallery through July 2.

Within the space, Hernandez has reconstructed scenes from his daily commute, creating foam sculptures of trees, birds, and telephone poles, that leave viewers feeling as though they’re stepping into Minecraft or walking onto a lego play set. The pieces create a very playful environment for the viewer and set the stage for the photographs which make up the conceptual bulk of The Longest Distance.

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The exhibition displays a body of work built around Hernandez shifting the focus of his commute. Instead of allowing the world around him to melt into a blur, he focused in on the objects, foliage, and landmarks that dot his trail and from there wove what he uncovered into an exhibition that activates these spaces, so often unconsidered by passing commuters, in multifarious ways. For the viewer, the activation might seem to be in the final product. Hernandez showcases the spaces in unaltered digital photographs featuring model Jordanlehn, who can be seen swirling fabric around her body.

Truly, though, the initial activation of these spaces is not this final documentation but the performative photoshoots between Hernandez and his model that created a series of colorful characters who occupy these places. By bringing Jordanlehn in and having her swing these giant swathes of fabric around her body, the artist activated these spaces long before the work was put on display. Hernandez not only gave attention to these landmarks through performative photoshoots, but, he undoubtedly drew the attention of those passing by while he and the model created a series of colorful characters who occupy these places. This cast of characters adds a strong aesthetic element to the photographs as the model hits poses that may leave the viewer questioning how exactly she got into some of the positions Hernandez captured.

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Through these characters, he begins to construct a mythos for the unknown yet familiar community that houses these ignored spaces. The viewer gets a glimpse into what secret wonders these spaces potentially hold, but as of this exhibition, only the surface has been scratched. There are valid arguments for whether the lack of depth or development in these figures draws away from the merit of the work. On one hand, it can be said that only representing this introductory level is enough: It piques the interest of the viewer and may drive them to find out more about the places they neglect. The swirling fabric reflects back on the idea of these spaces and the people who occupy them, melting away as the commuter speeds by.

But the other hand is empty. It isn’t satisfied with the unexplained appearance of characters and yearns for dedication to these characters and development of who they are and what we’re missing by not visiting the spaces that house them.

The aesthetic value of Hernandez and Jordanlehn’s characters is unquestionable. Without them, the work would be nothing more than meek portraits of empty lots, and the meaning and feeling of the exhibition would be wholly altered. But is that enough to justify their label as characters? Something to think about on your next commute.

– MICHAEL MCFADDEN

Link

The Longest Distance @ BLUEorange contemporary art

Solo show in Houston

Promo + Info

My commute is about getting from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. However, the daily routine of commuting to and from work over time turns into visual white noise. The repetition of treading the same landscape loses its clarity as trees melt into a green blur.

What if I changed the goal of the trip? What if I focused on the journey and ignored the destination? Suddenly, objects, foliage, landmarks, previously ignored take on greater meaning and hold my interest longer. Attempting to answer these questions generated new questions and subsequently new artwork, ultimately leading to the work for this exhibition titled, The Longest Distance.

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Critics Table Award 2014-2015 for Gently Fried

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Solo show – The longest distance

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BLUEorange gallery

May 30th – Houston Texas

GENTLY FRIED + Austin American Statesman

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Los Outsiders present: GENTLY FRIED

Act II

The second part of the exhibition consists of works that will be installed in the Sam Coronado Gallery at the ESB-MACC for the duration of the exhibition, featuring the work of: Claire Ashley (Chicago), Jill Bedgood (Austin), Candace Briceño (Austin), Susi Brister (Austin), Jimmy Canales (San Antonio), Puro Chingón Collective (Austin), The Color Condition (Dallas), Katelena Hernandez Cowles (Austin), Sarah Hill (Austin), Jenny Kendler (Chicago), Irvin Morazan (NYC), Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (Winter Park, Florida), Deborah Roberts (Austin), Gil Rocha (Laredo, TX), Megan Stroech (Chicago).

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LOS OUTSIDERS + Drawing Lines

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10 Districts. 10 Projects. 1 City.

An artist-driven, community-based public project, Drawing Lines was commissioned in response to Austin’s historic political transformation. At its core, Drawing Lines is an exploratory conversation about the dynamics of place. It’s a project about process that examines the role of contemporary culture in the transition and transformation of place. The project explores how art itself, as a process, can be part of the conversation about Austin’s newly restructured political system and embeds artists within the foundation of a rapidly changing, ever-evolving

In 2012, the citizens of Austin initiated and voted for a new political system where city council members represent specific geographic districts, beginning with the November 2014 election. Exploring these citizen-driven yet prescribed boundaries of place, Drawing Lines embeds artists in each of the ten newly drawn districts to co-create a place-specific public project with the residents of the new districts. Ultimately, the ten district projects will come together in one citywide exhibition reflecting on the new 10-1 political structure and the dynamic cultural life of each of the districts and thus the city itself.

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ARTISTS: LOS OUTSIDERS

Los Outsiders, the Austin based creative collective, began in 2007 when Jaime Salvador Castillo, Michael Anthony García and Hector Hernandez met exhibiting work in Mexic-Arte Museum’s “Young Latino Artists 11: Juventud Desenfrenada.” With the addition of Robert Jackson Harrington in 2014, Los Outsiders broadened the scope of their creative endeavors.

Collectively, Los Outsiders develop platforms for artistic dialog such as the Los Outsider video-podcasts, and by curating group exhibitions with local, national and international artists. Recent projects include Dance Your Pants Off and #ATXLoteria, focusing on artist driven community involvement and engagement.

In 2012, the Austin Critics’ Table awarded Los Outsiders Best Group Show Curation for “Heir Today Gone Tomorrow.” Currently, Los Outsiders upcoming curatorial project Gently Fried for the Emma S. Barrientos MACC (Mexican American Cultural Center) is set to debut in April 2015.

MORE TO COME LATE 2015

Los Outsides + FUSEBOX Festival

I’m part of LOS OUTSIDERS art collective and we curated GENTLY FRIED 

Act I performance

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the Vanderbild

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Click 

MOCA meets Hyperbeast

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Museum of Contemporary Art – Los Angeles

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PACIFIC STANDARD TIME:LA/LA

Thank you Robb for Including  Hyperbeast in your presentation.

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Hector Hernandez

Hyperbeast: Vulca  (2014)

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