Eliminating distinctions between art and life

Gonzalo Hernandez's first solo museum exhibit '):)' on display at SCAD Museum, Nov. 17, 2020-Jan. 24, 2021

"I'M ALWAYS trying to talk about the present, talk about what we are living in a subtle way. That's the iconic image of the show because I feel like it's also related to what we are living right now, and how is this affecting us in different ways," explains Hernandez.

This show, “):)”, is Gonzalo Hernandez’s debut solo museum exhibition in Savannah, and will present a video, photos, a collection of smaller-scale paintings, and a pink vinyl installation conveying the artist’s personal narrative, which blurs the relationship between art and life.

“):)”, arranged by associate curator Ben Tollefson at SCAD Museum, is related to Millennial imagery. The show’s title is an emoji symbol that evokes discussions about the artist’s mixed emotions of having his show at this unforeseeable time. On one side, the symbol is smiling, and on the other side, it could be sad, depending on how the viewer interprets the emotion. 

“It’s mixed emotions or mixed feelings. That’s how I felt when they [SCAD] told me about it and to have a show there. It’s a big step in my artistic career, and the world is in a global pandemic, and how can I be a part of it?” Hernandez said.

Hernandez’s work relates to the fascination of his everyday experiences. The essence of his 50 small paintings is part of a daily practice of painting with text that reflects the news, music, or his own personal narrative. 

“My work is related to multiple mediums, I’m not a fiber artist or painter, I’m more interested in creating installations using different materials,” adds Hernandez.

A once-plain-white museum wall in the Alumni Gallery Space is now covered in wall-to-wall pale-pink construction vinyl, a material typically used in construction. As a former SCAD student, Hernandez reflects on the many times he frequented the gallery.

“I want to create this vinyl that is installation foam. The Pink Panther foam, that is usually a construction material to put between the walls. It’s a material that is not used in an art gallery space. Why do I want to transform the gallery into a worksite? Just to play with this idea that I am still a young artist. This is an alumni gallery. This is everything in progress,” explains Hernandez.

“I felt a responsibility to show and have a cool show for students. So they could feel like when I see a show there it’s really risky. That’s what I wanted. I want the students to feel like everything can be art, and you just need to be conscious about what to display.” 

About The Author

Nicole Youngblut

Nicole Youngblut is a contributing writer for Connect Savannah, where she covers the local art and events scene. As a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology, she spent many years in New York City as a fashion stylist and promoter. Her passion for biographies, entertainment and the arts is the perfect...
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