Orestes Hernandez/ Orestes Hernandez

Cuba 1981

Installation, Painting, Drawing

Orestes Hernandez
Orestes Hernandez
Male
Cuba
1981

Orestes Hernández is a massively talented artist who belongs to the aspiring generation of young Cuban artists regarded as a future backbone of this nation’s art scene. He is known for his expressive and cartoon-like representations that allow him to unite colorful aesthetics with current social affairs and politics, effectively placing a finger on the pulse of the Cuban island, a place known for its politically charged circumstances that never seem to calm down.

Orestes Hernandez - Photo of the artist in front of his work
Orestes Hernandez – Photo of the artist in front of his work

A Unique Art Style

The work of Orestes Hernandez is hard to describe with words. Within them, realism bounces off science fiction fantasies, there is a presence of strict rules that are simultaneously completely absent. It should be noted that the homages to and explorations of pop culture and abstract expressionism are clearly visible in his color-intensive paintings. The ever-present characteristic of Hernandez’s drawings and paintings is the combination of graphic images with text fragments that usually give direct insights into the meaning of the piece. He explains his work with the following statement: The attitude I take as a painter is similar to that of a postman who throws the newspapers from his wheel in front of the doors, I am a picture distributor. I am throwing these pictures to the viewers. The thrown message embodies the versatility of the representation.

Orestes Hernandez - Pulpo de la superficie, 2017 / Ok Capitain, 2017
Orestes Hernandez – Pulpo de la superficie, 2017 / Ok Capitain, 2017

A Further Look At The Work of Orestes Hernandez

The amount of humor and irony present in Orestes’ pieces may resemble the works of Marcel Duchamp, the avant-garde legend that played a major role in establishing contemporary art’s standards. Furthermore, Hernandez cites that he is a big fan of the American artist Matthew Barney. However, it should be noted that this Cuban artist never relied on or was directly influenced by neither his contemporaries or forebears as Orestes Hernandez was always unable to come into direct contact with their work. He explained this very directly with the following statement that also serves as an insight of how his creative mind functions: Aside from Cuban painters I haven’t seen anything, so for me, art is something that has to be invented, like a lie. I have to invent myself, build myself out of what’s available to me.

Orestes Hernandez makes paintings that are technically virtuosic, visually magnificent and allow us to measure the pulse of the politically charged island of Cuba

Orestes Hernandez - Pepsi, 2017 / Tuneles sin salida, 2017
Orestes Hernandez – Pepsi, 2017 / Tuneles sin salida, 2017

All About the Stories

I don’t think I’m very interested in the act of painting, the sentimental or the gestural aspects do not really matter to me. It just provides a frame for my stories, that’s exactly what I like. Despite the obvious talent for painting and drawing, Orestes Hernandez stated that in order to allow us to fully understand his work, so we can realize how much more he desires to send a message than to simply be perceived as a talented painter. Nevertheless, Orestes Hernandez’s work is perfectly executed and visually spectacular, so we expect big things from this Cuban painter in the future.

This artist is represented by LKB/G Gallery.

Orestes Hernandez lives and works in Havana, Cuba.

Featured image: Orestes Hernandez – Photo of the artist – Image via s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
All images courtesy of LKB/G Gallery.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017Fantasía Cubana – Feliz, Feroz, Amén!LKB/G, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2017Nature is Worth a thousand ThoughtsCenter for the Development of Visual Arts (CDAV), Havana, CubaGroup
2016FantasíaGalería Servando, Havana, CubaSolo
2016La pala (a la corta o a la larga)Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana, CubaGroup
2015Ya no pienso en tiGalería Reino de este Mundo, Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba, Havana, CubaSolo
2015Sin oficio ni beneficioGalería La Moderna, Colateral a la X. Bienal de La Habana, Havana, CubaGroup
2014La primera AventuraGalerie knoerle & baettig, Winterthur, SwitzerlandSolo
2014Para quebrar los murosMuseo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CubaGroup
2013GulliverFreies Museum Berlin, Berlin, Germany Group
2012Llegó el malhechorGalería Servando, Havana, CubaSolo
2011Alta fidelidadGalería Cristo Salvador, Havana, CubaSolo
2010Bomba (Bomb)Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam, Havana, CubaGroup
2009Que salga el sol por donde salgaGalería 23 y 12, XII. Bienal de La Habana, Havana, CubaSolo
2008Far Far AwayLab Gallery, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2007Se acabó la SalsaInstituto Cubano de la Música, Havana, CubaSolo
2007Built SituationInstituto Superior de Arte ISA, Havana, CubaGroup
2006Cambiando de TemaInstituto Superior de Arte, Havana, CubaSolo
2005El rabo del ojoGalería Casa de Cultura de Plaza, Havana, CubaSolo
2005Selección Natural (Natural Selection)Galería Servando Cabrera, Havana, CubaGroup
2004Cuba the Next GenerationCentre of Cuban Art, New York, USAGroup
2003Sentido Común (Common Sense)Galería Habana, Havana, CubaGroup