William Hernandez | Milagros

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William Hernandez

top: Planning Secrets acrylic on canvas 36 x 27 in. bottom: Miracles acrylic on canvas 48 x 72 in.

Teach Me to Believe II, acrylic on canvas, 61 x 42 in.

When I was growing up in Lima, Peru, my grandmother told me that all roads lead to the Lord of Miracles in October. October in Lima is the setting for one of the largest processions in the world. Purple clad worshippers flood the city, painting the streets purple in celebration of the Lord of Miracles, whose venerated image is carried throughout the city. I internalized my grandmother’s words so profoundly that I had nightmares of waves of people crashing through the front door of our house.

In this new series of paintings, I have bridged my youth and my present life by giving expression to the memories, events, dreams and aspirations of the Purple Month: a meaningful month for me and for most Peruvians. By incorporating a variety of elements such as symbolism, nostalgia, romanticism, whimsy, fantasy, magic and mysticism, I have created illustrative answers to my central question, “What are miracles�?

left: Childhood Melodies acrylic on canvas 40 x 30 in.

bottom: After the Crowd acrylic on canvas 40 x 50 in.

The Date, acrulic on canvas, 46 x 46 in.

Four centuries ago, an African slave in Lima painted an image of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. After a massive earthquake, this painting was the only remnant of the ruined church, surrounded by rubble and destruction. This remarkable event gave rise to the mythology and veneration of the Lord of Miracles, the Saint figure recognized for its miracle-working powers. Having grown up with this story, I feel a personal connection to the unnamed artist, the historical events, and the traditions that followed; however, my subject matter is not religious in nature, and the miracles of my life are earth shaking in a more personal way.

Teach Me to Believe I, acrylic on canvas, 61 x 42 in.

The theme painting in this series – “Miracle” – developed from a pivotal moment in my relationship with the woman who is now my wife and mother of my children. On one warm, October evening stroll, during a trying time in our relationship, the Lord of Miracles procession appeared in our path, occasioning a small miracle of sorts for us. We still account this magical experience as one that helped shape and solidify the couple we are today.

William Hernandez William Hernandez trained at Lima’s Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (1995-2002), and moved to Portland in 2009. He creates both figurative and abstract paintings with his distinct vision, incorporating intense colors, warm figures and humor. His work has been exhibited in galleries and cultural centers from Lima to Portland, including Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano, Centro Cultural de Espana, and several venues around Portland. In 2007 and 2008, Hernandez participated in the U.S. Embassy’s Noche de Arte: the largest art exhibition in Peru, a show that generates funds for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2011, his work was exhibited throughout La Luna Nueva festival, a Portland event sponsored by PGE Foundation, The Oregonian, and supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Aside from painting, Hernandez worked as a graphic designer for both public and international institutions in Lima and worked as an art teacher for El Museo de Arte de Lima. He was one of the organizers for the first Intercambio de Artistas Latinos (Latin American Artists Exchange), which aims to create a network of artists in the Northwest to share ideas, expression and art. Hernandez artworks are in private collections in Spain, Lima, Germany, Guatemala, Chile, France, Australia, Belgium and the United States. Currently, He is teaching art classes at VOZ Workers’ Right Education Project.

512 Firs t Ave S o uth S e a t t l e WA 9 8 1 0 4 206.839.0377 www.artxchange.org info@artxchange.org

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