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5 Questions with Gonzalo Hernandez

GONZALO Hernandez is a multidisciplinary artist whose work fluctuates between different media to explore recurring themes.

He’s currently an MFA candidate for the fibers program at SCAD and already holds an MA in painting from SCAD and a BFA in fine arts from Corriente Alterna in Lima, Peru.

He uses that background to explore the theme of failure and success in unique ways.

Hernandez has been part of group exhibitions in Lima, Paris, and Savannah.

We spoke with Hernandez about his work last week.

1. What’s your background?

Hernandez: I did my undergrad in studio art, but I focused on installation and video. I just finished my MA in painting at SCAD, so I switched over to fibers. I’m very interested in materials—that’s an overall thing.

I had a car accident and I was just trying to find a metal piece to work with. Then I found one and I was molding it with my hands, trying to create a new piece. I’m always working with sculpture and objects. I’m interested in alternate materials.

One of the themes I’ve been using [in my work] is success and failure. A car accident is related to that—it’s a failure.

2. Tell me more about that idea of success and failure.

I’ve been working with that theme a long time, basically since my undergrad. It’s so broad, so open to everyone. Everyone has a different definition of success and failure.

I did one piece where I asked everyone their opinion on it. I guess, for me, after thinking about that theme, I think failure is a part of it. I’m not looking for success anymore. You always have expectations and realities, and I don’t really have that in my mind anymore. I don’t have to worry about that.

3. How did you come to that realization?

After you graduate, you’re wondering what you want to do. It’s a big moment. I feel like after I graduated, I started thinking of failure as something that happens every time, every single experience I’ve had.

4. What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on my thesis project in fiber and I’ve been working in a factory in Pooler, so it’s a really sad job. It’s minimum wage. It’s really an experience to me. It’s still connected to success and failure somehow. I feel like most of the people working there hate it. They’re really sad, they don’t want to go to work. It’s 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. every single day of the week, even Sunday. It’s not easy work, it’s hardcore.

It’s always a self-portrait or a personal experience somehow to what I’m doing. I finished an installation of another factory, and I’m planning my thesis still but it’s the same theme.

5. What do you have planned for your thesis?

I’m looking for an experience instead of a gallery show. Since I’m talking about a factory, I want to put it in a space like that. I’m still starting that search, but there’s not many galleries here and there aren’t many I like. I’m looking for more of an experience, a one-night event.