41 x 21.5 cm
Papier maché, wood, lack, India ink
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Purchase made possible by Club Fonds Konkret
Varios vectores de intuiciòn
The Aztecs, who once inhabited what is now Mexico, wrote elaborate codices about their history, religion, and culture in the pre-Columbian era. The “writing” used in these codices consisted of pictograms (pictorial signs) and phonograms (signs representing certain sounds).
The artworks of Rodrigo Hernández (born 1983 in Mexico City, Mexico) have much in common with these codices. His paintings and wall objects feature forms that remind us of abstract creatures or human body parts, like an arm and hand, an eye, or an entire face. While the human form continually appears as a motif in Hernández’s work, it is always reduced to the most essential pictorial elements needed for identification: nose, mouth, eyes, arms, hands, and legs, provided it is not merely a head without a body in the first place. Hernández seems to offer a primeval human as a kind of model with which all (males) can identify, regardless of their ethnic background.
One of Hernández’s sources of inspiration is the artist Miguel Covarrubias (1904–1957), who also explored indigenous Mexican art in his surrealist wall paintings created in California. Like Covarrubias before him, Hernández uses a wide range of references in a style he describes as “personal syncretism.”
Hernández, who now lives in Europe, deliberately chooses a language that is universally understandable and readable. The combination of elements from his home country of Mexico with a common language of forms is more than just a poignant commentary on our globalized art world; it also creates a resonance chamber for beholders by encouraging them to question their understanding of what is “foreign” and what is universally human.