Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Colorful Season

December was to be the month when I would buckle down.  Instead it's been so full of social engagements that I haven't been able to isolate myself and concentrate as much as I would have liked. But I'm happier for the merry distractions. I did finally finish painting a portrait commission that I had been working on and off of since September. And I've been finalizing details on my most recent body of work, a series of mixed media works on drafter's vellum that I started last spring. Big challenges lay ahead in the next few months as I prepare for my first exhibition at SOHO20 this spring - part of me wants to linger in December and have a few more cocktails.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Enforced break-time

Oh well...I guess I'll have to hold off on that work until she decides to get up. Time then for a snack break!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New work in progress.

Monday, November 9, 2009

"We Play (Slide Redux)" Performance, 11/6/09, Soho20 Gallery

Here are some photos of my performance at SOHO20 Gallery. I couldn't have done it without the dedicated participation of "Slide" players: Jessica Funaro, Cherkea Howery, Karl Knauer, Maori Stanton and Jonique Williams. Nor would the performance have been as successful without the participation of gallery visitors. I was the evening's referee (or the official whistle blower), guiding the players and visitors through the game - or at least trying to. I felt a little punch drunk, and certainly not from the rum fruit punch that we served. I think I was overwhelmed by the evening, in a pretty good way.

The performance was one in which five blindfolded "players" paired up to play the children's hand clapping game, Slide. A referee guided them through the gallery and paired them up with other players, or with gallery visitors who volunteered to participate. Mutual guidance was needed from all participants, as the blindfolded players could not see their partners and the visitors were being introduced to the game. Eventually a casual atmosphere was established in which blindfolded players were socializing with gallery visitors - a surreal and amusing sight.

I want to thank Jenn Dierdorf, Director of SOHO20 Gallery, for inviting me to participate in the Savoir-Faire performance series; the "Slide" players for agreeing to do this and for being incredible performers; Elizabeth Bisbing for photographing the performance; and Jack Cesareo for documenting the evening. And also I thank everyone who was able to come, watch and play with us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Click on image to view details. Happening at Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, 547 W. 27th Street, Suite 301, New York, NY.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Performance Art-This Friday, November 6!

Come see and be a part of my new performance piece, "We Play (Slide Redux)", on Friday, November 6, starting at 6:30 pm at SOHO20 Gallery, 547 W. 27th Street (between 10th & 11th Aves), Suite 301. This performance is part of SOHO20's Savoir-Faire performance series. The performance is free and open to the public. Bring friends - lots of friends. Sweet treats and punch will be served.

From the gallery's press release:

"In 'We Play (Slide Redux)', artist Carla Hernandez recaptures childhood nostalgia through play. Blindfolded performers will entertain themselves in the gallery by playing 'Slide', a children's handclapping game, with each other while they wait for visitors in the gallery to join them in play. The game, which is not accompanied with a verbal rhyme, will develop into a social environment of rhythmic sound and activity as a multitude of players simultaneously clap to the game."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SOHO20 Affordable Art Sale & Benefit - THIS SATURDAY, 10/24!

Above, two works I'll be selling. Works by Louise Bourgeois, Faith Ringgold and Kiki Smith, as well as others, will be up for silent auction. Works by SOHO20 members as well as established and emerging artists will be on sale. With performance art by Vernita N'Cognita and Brazilian influenced jazz by Michael Lawton. Hors d' oeuvres, wine...6 - 10 pm. Come out and see us!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SOHO20 Affordable Art Sale & Benefit

Click on the image to see it enlarged. For more information, visit the SOHO20 website. If you are an artist who would like to donate a small work to the art sale, please contact me for details.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Summer to Fall

After a very busy summer, I'm getting back to my own work. I had the very good fortune to work this summer assisting artist Susan Stair with a mosaic she designed and fabricated for PS/IS 189 in the Bronx. The photos are of me with artists Jessica Funaro and Mitsuyo Mori working in Stair's Harlem studio. Stair was awarded a grant by the city of New York to create the mosaic as part of a program to install public art pieces in new schools around the city. This piece is a tribute to Rosa Parks and is inspired by the lyrics, "Just like a tree that's planted by the river/We shall not be moved." Made of glass tile (smalti) and ceramic, it is a gorgeous work. I would love to post images of it installed but I don't have permission to do so yet - hopefully will be able to post an image or link someday soon. But if you have the time and inclination to visit PS/IS 189 to see the mosaic, which includes two columns on the side entrance which were designed by Stair and the school's students, it is located at 3440 Steenwick Ave - the last stop on the Eastchester/Dyer bound no. 5 train in the Bronx.

In addition to my recent work, a series of mixed media images on drafting vellum, I'm working on a new performance that will happen at SOHO20 gallery on November 6. Details will be posted soon - visitor participation will be encouraged! I'm also working on a commission for a friend - a portrait in oil on canvas that is coming along v e r y s l o w l y.

On top of all the work I need to begin researching graduate school applications for MFA programs. I'm feeling a little (a lot) lost here and would be grateful for any advice. Right now Hunter College is the only school I have myself set on but I know I shouldn't apply to just one school. And time is running out for Fall 2010 application deadlines...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Exhibition at Soho20 Gallery

Opening reception this Thursday, July 23, 5-7 pm. Look for me there.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Crush

This beautiful print by illustrator Julia Pott is being offered as a prize to the best first crush story. Go to Doodlers Anonymous to enter your story for a chance at winning. Here's the story of my first crush:

It was the first grade. One boy with Luke Skywalker hair made me a little prickly with heat and for that I didn't like him. I was just too little to understand the concept of "crush" and was afraid I'd somehow betray and shame myself. So I ignored him. One day I saw him in the cafeteria eating a sandwich he brought from home and to my horror, I saw that he had peeled off the crusts to eat around them, which is what I always did. When he noticed that I did the same he gave me an adorable grin, but I quickly turned away in embarrassment. I think that hurt his feelings. I wish I could go back to that moment so I could return his smile that day in the cafeteria, at least to acknowledge our solidarity in eating crustless sandwiches.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What To See...

Artist Joanne Mattera features several noteworthy exhibitions on her Art Blog. You can read her post here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tribute to the People

I have had absolutely no time to blog lately and should be working right now, but I thought to take a break and check in with some blogs that I follow. I had about a week or two's worth of browsing to catch up on.

One art blog that I highly respect had a week-old post saying that their blog was "proudly Michael Jackson-free: no news, no gossip, no pics, "no interest." My first reaction was "YESSS!" Mainstream media has surely milked this passing while very urgent issues lie like fallen trees in the road (you can't just drive over them).

However...my next reaction to this blog post was, "well, wait a sec..." I sheepishly admit that I've been swept up with fascination over the last week of MJ mania. At first I wasn't quite sure why since I was never a true fan of Michael Jackson - he kind of lost me when the video for "Thriller" came out since I was seven-years-old at the time and afraid of everything. So by no means did I run home to watch live coverage of his memorial tribute. But the act of remembering the guy has brought on a wave so strong of childhood nostalgia that I, like so many others I'm sure, haven't felt a long time. (And, on a personal level, this nostalgia has flooded me with childhood memories of my father, who also died an untimely death that could have been prevented. I mostly feel for the children left behind.)

But the reason I partially take back my emphatic agreement with the art blog's Michael Jackson-free post is because I commute to work through Harlem's 125th Street, passing the Apollo Theater. The feeling of communal mourning and celebration is hard to miss - I can't help but be swept up by the old hits emanating from boom boxes and the spontaneous dance-offs on the sidewalk. I was at first disturbed by the instant capilalization of the spectacle of death, with T-shirts and CD's being sold at every turn of the head, but hey - it's a living.

It's the fact that in their own way, so many people are reacting at once, and I find this is what affects me. And I'm not talking about Mary f*cking Hart feigning mourning on Entertainment Tonight; I'm talking about everyday people that I see in this city - total strangers meeting on the street to celebrate a life, which to me celebrates life in general. I suppose that's also the power of pop culture.

Still, with all this bombardment in the "news", it really is very nice to have a Michael Jackson-free zone.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Art on Water

The artist SWOON and her crew of artists, musicians and dreamers crashed the Venice Biennale this year with their fleet of three ships known as the Swimming Cities of Serenissima, made of found objects and "treasures".  All I can say is that I wish I had been a participant of this project.  With Jack's boating experience and my dance moves, we would have been a valuable part of the crew...or so I happen to think.  Swoon, I'm swooning for you!  Please, please, please take me with you next time.     

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Soho20 Chelsea

I'm thrilled and honored to have recently been invited to be a new member of Soho20 Chelsea, a non-profit artist-run organization and co-op gallery "promoting the work of women artists and serving the community through public events" since 1973.  I look forward to meeting and showing with other members of the gallery who include Elizabeth Bisbing, Lucy Hodgson, Eve Ingalls, Darla Bjork, Ellen Hoffman, and Anne McKeown, among many others.  

If you're in New York visiting the galleries at Chelsea, be sure to stop by and see what is currently on exhibit.   

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More from Trunk Series

Top and Center: System I, 2009, pencil and acrylic on wood
Bottom: System II, 2009, pencil and acrylic on wood

Monday, June 1, 2009

More Recent Work

Top: Column Ruin (Trunk Series), 2009, pencil and acrylic on wood, 3 7/8 x 3 1/2 x 1 5/8 inches
Bottom: Network (Trunk Series), 2009, pencil and acrylic on wood, 4 1/2 x 4 3/8 x 1 5/8 inches

These are part of a new series of drawings I'm currently working on; additional works from the series were posted on May 4.  More images will be posted soon.   

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Storm King Art Center

Here are some photos from the Storm King Art Center, where Jack and I spent a beautiful rainy afternoon last week.  The clouds eventually gave way to sun as we were leaving the park; a very uplifting experience.   Someone asked me whether Maya Lin's Wavefield was worth the experience.  I think it is - if you're going to Storm King anyway, definitely take the time to walk through the grassy waves before climbing to higher ground to see them from above.  Since the grass is rather tall and had been wet that day, my enjoyment of the walk was a little marred as my sneakers got soaked through and through.  But overall yes, definitely worth experiencing.  The temporary exhibition, Maya Lin: Bodies of Water, on view inside the visitor's center, is also a must-see (up through November 15).      

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday I Saw...

This week I predict there will be less getting work done and more seeking out inspiration.  I spent the first half of today visiting friends and co-workers at the American Museum of Natural History, one of whom, Anibal Rodriguez, I needed to photograph as a model for a new painting.  (Anibal is portrayed alongside Jack in my painting, La Conversacion.)  I'd love to display some of my photos of him here but since I haven't yet decided which one to use for the painting, I'll momentarily keep them on file.  

The first photo above shows part of Anibal's windowsill in his office, which is located in the Anthropology Dept.  I didn't ask him how long he's had these objects arranged this way, whether they were placed happenstance or were a strategic effort in office decor, but I found this small, personal touch emblematic of the museum itself.     

The second and third photos are views from my apartment window.  There was a sun shower this evening that produced the clearest and most complete rainbow I think I've seen in years.  And I love the purple flowers that this tree produces, which resemble little bells or fairy hats.  I wish I could remember the name of this species of tree - I don't think it is a native species, but feel free to correct me on this.   

Friday, May 8, 2009

I find the story of Everett Ruess fascinating - an artist and writer longs to leave the confines of the city, ventures out into the desert wilderness and disappears, never to be seen again.  For decades people only had theories of what may have happened to him.  An article with the answer to the mystery was posted today on npr.org.   

Monday, May 4, 2009

Writing a Statement

Top: Stilts (Trunk Series), 2009, pencil and acrylic on wood, 8 1/4 x 3 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches
Bottom: The Long Column (Trunk Series), 2009, pencil and acrylic on wood, 8 1/4 x 4 x 1 3/4 inches

I enjoyed drawing the trees in my Rabbit series so much that I wanted to create a body of work dedicated to trunks.  These two vertical diptychs are part of the new series.    

I'm trying to finish my artist statement and am finding it really difficult to accomplish.  I can't summarize without sounding too vague and can't go into detail without getting to weighty.  It's a difficult balance that intimidates.  I'm hoping procrastination will help.  Or perhaps a drink...  

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I've had very little time and interested for blogging this past week.  I'm trying to get some new work finished in addition to writing an updated artist statement, all the while a hurricane has been ripping through my brain.  It could be a symptom of the early onset of summery weather we've had the last few days.

For a calming effect, I'll post some photos from an intimate dinner party this past Saturday at the lovely home of lovely friends who live in Kingston, NJ.    

Monday, April 20, 2009

La Conversacion, 2009, oil on canvas, 40 x 32 in.  

Finally, I'm able to post a photo of this painting I recently finished of Jack (on right) and our friend Anibal Rodriguez, both of whom work at the American Museum of Natural History.  My good friend Jessica Nilsen, who is a fantastic photographer, took some images of this work for me, which was not easy since the glare from sections of the painting was overwhelmingly visible.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Noteworthy Blog

I'd like to mention Joanne Mattera Art Blog because I find it absolutely informative and engaging.  The author, Joanne Mattera, is also an artist.  Check out her weekly posts, "Marketing Mondays," for really useful thoughts, ideas, and helpful tips.    

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Houses on the Hills, 2009, acrylic on found plywood, 16 x 7 3/4 in.  

Most recent addition to my Etsy shop.