This Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis exhibition is the culmination of Dave Hernandez's undergraduate studies and focuses on his vision of the future of civilization. Included in the show are fourteen oil paintings, a collection of sketches and drawings, and a sound installation.
“In a world after the collapse of modern society, people will be forced to regress to more primitive, earthly and humanistic ways of living. In this post-industrial, agrarian world, survival and community will once again become a priority. Those who thrive in this new world will discover a society more attuned with the cycles of nature and with the earth itself. They will find themselves in a world without the troubles of overpopulation, rampant industry, pollution, dehumanizing technology, and without the vapid complacency of today's culture. They will build atop the crumbled vestiges of civilization and flourish through the rediscovery of arts and ethics. They'll have found creative ways of repurposing materials and reinstating clean, intelligent technologies in an environmentally conscious way. They will have learned to cherish life and to respect the planet's ecosystems, much like their humbler ancestors of ancient times, and very much unlike modern man. It is the age of a new enlightenment, where people have finally become aware that they are not morally or biologically independent of nature. It is commonplace, now, to view the destruction of war-torn and impoverished countries half a world away, but the bleakness of entropy is seldom accompanied by the hope and beauty of burgeoning foliage and new life. This painting series also aims to exhibit the impermanence of our urbanized world and the eerie, yet beautiful landscapes resulting from our absence.
“If we leave our delusions of absolute dominion behind, we will find the Earth to be a symbiotic host once again. As of now, the Earth is our one and only hope for the intellectual and spiritual growth of humanity. When we realize that we are the stewards of this cosmic vessel, and not the entitled owners, we may once again become worthy of its glory.
“During the creative process, I work primarily from my imagination, envisaging my subject matter mainly from memories, but often utilizing photographic references as a foundation. For figures, I use friends and acquaintances to sketch both from life or from photograph. I believe the serendipitous combination of the arbitrary and the real result in imagery that stimulates the subconscious of the viewer, and it helps to guide them into a more dreamlike state of mind. There is an emphasis on mood in my paintings, and the tone is often defined by subtle choices in lighting, color, perspective and weather. Despite my realistic approach, I believe that verity in work deadens the experience and essentially nullifies art. I see my paintings as conceptual gateways or windows into a world that challenges what we perceive today as a normal way of life–they are intended to shatter our world's former archetypes.
“For me, painting is becoming more and more a form of meditation, and I’m finding that the deeper I delve, the more I feel consciously connected to the unseen world within and without. It is an entheogenic experience to create, and in the future, I plan to focus my efforts into more spiritual, metaphysical avenues in an effort to unbridle the innate divinity that we each possess.”