Maybe I’m a lost soul, but I like this place
September 14 – December 1, 2018
In her the first U.S solo exhibition, “Maybe I’m a lost soul, but I like this place “ Colombian artist Alejandra Hernández explores the strange yet familiar feeling of nostalgic belonging and isolation. Finding inspiration from the stories of New Mexico’s people and landscape, found photos, film, and pop culture gathered during her two month residency, her paintings and drawings are intimate reflections on the mysterious journey of life. Exhibition Catalog
Profound lightness – A lost soul on the fringe of Metaphysical New Mexico
“Snakes and bisons populate Alejandra Hernández’s universe, in a silent dream where the looks settle as the mirrors of the soul. From the very particular atmosphere of Las Vegas New Mexico, where we never know very well if we cross a movie either the reality, Alejandra Hernández pulled a big scene in several paintings. Every picture has a dialogue with others in a strange colored silence. Clearly, time stopped, nomadic Alejandra took root.
In the air of this dream float the Indian souls. They are next to existential cowboys and bandits there.
Alejandra’s soul haunts these scenes as in so many intimate relations revealed to the light. A familiar and nevertheless renewed bestiary underlines the strength of her own presence to the world.
Fantasy and humor enhance the tragic feeling which invades the viewer.
And then there is obviously an influence of the particular context of Las Vegas New Mexico: the work of Alejandra Hernández took a new turn in this city, put as a treasure island full at the foot of Sangre de Christo Mountains.
The melancholic, pensive characters are plunged into a profound metaphysical solitude, to which is added the silence, the impossibility of a communication – these dumb characters look at us, question us, call out to us, observe us, send us back to ourselves (” peaches not cream “)
We are at the same time outside and inside the paintings – they snatch us until we are part of them – irresistibly. We are concerned, we show solidarity, we are a member of the same family, of the same world.
What do these characters in levitation tell us, or at least what do they try to tell us? Is it Alejandra who speaks to us? But who is Alejandra, who invites us to enter her paintings with naughtiness tinged with humor? Does she invite us to know her better, too?
Alejandra Hernández seems to speak to us behind each of her characters, characters whom she seems to take with her throughout her trips, as collusive journeymen – human but also animal journeymen. Animals are timeless companions, embarked on the same metaphysics.
These characters could be us – or not. Or those who surround us. We recognize ourselves there – in the physical appearance, either the posture, or the clothes, or the concerns. But what is the sense of all this?
The existential inspiration is everywhere, including where we wait for him least (” existencial bandit ” or ” existencial cowboy “).
« Maybe I am a lost soul, but I like this place » is a motionless experience too, that, with this fund of melancholy and solitude, reminds Edward Hopper or David Hockney (” Rose “). Still lives are not there. The lightness is visible, but paradoxically full of heaviness and depth, it spreads at several levels, as a false carefreeness. This immobility and this mystery find their ultimate point in what could look like a modern adaptation of the famous Manet’s ” Déjeuner sur l’herbe ” (” Morning Glory “).
The way of painting is naive, childish, naked, direct, stylized, purified … These colors, these portraits, these looks send back to an original painting diverted funnily (” milk and snakes “) or maybe to a revisited ‘Petit Prince’ (” Us and the Chihuahua “)?.
The density of colors, the multitude of details in objects, the shape of the drapes, reflect the influence of the context too: New Mexico – Do we visit the lost paradise?
Full of childish freshness and humor, paintings send back to us again and again nevertheless, to who we are, in the sense of the life, by leaving in us tracks of a quite metaphysical gravity. And Eros is always present, who lives slowly in scenes.
Alejandra Hernández offers us the pleasure of less harmless paintings than it appears.”
Christian Mayeur, Paris, August 2018.