Mastery of materials is fundamental to the artistic process and the career goal of any artist in the chosen medium. Each method requires a different set of skills and can elicit different reactions from viewers. Follow columnist David Egan on “Maker’s Medium” as he shines a light on mediums of fine art by profiling a different art student each week.

(Cat Nordstrom / Daily Bruin)

Perry Hernandez has a painter’s plea: “Buy my art before I die.” “

As much as this is a request from a salesperson, as much as he says it is a comment on the often unfortunate plight of artists who do not receive support for their work until after their death. The third-year art student said he seeks a balance between the art he sells on his website and the art he creates for the school. Before enrolling at UCLA, Hernandez said he was doing art in high school and started taking it seriously in his freshman year. Although the work he does for courses and the work he does for sale differ stylistically, he said there is consistency in his medium: oil painting.

“Oil painting is probably my (middle) choice,” Hernandez said. “I’m not a huge fan of watercolors,… and I really hate using acrylics. … I really like the depth and range of colors I can get (with oil paint) and the softness with which I can get much of the mix.

Hernandez said he didn’t like using acrylic Painting because it dries too quickly. Oil painting, on the other hand, can take anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on how hard it is applied, which he says leaves more time to render the images. Made by dispersing pigments in oil, there is evidence of oil painting usage from at least the 12th century, with great popularity in the Renaissance. But regardless of the medium, Hernandez said he seeks a balanced composition in his art.

[Related: Maker’s Medium: Francisco Garcia uses video art, structure variety to express emotional impact]

Of them of his oil paintings, “Revenge of Jack” and “Go Fvck Yourself :)”, show this emphasis on eliminating excess empty space in the frame. In the first – a work presented at the 2021 undergraduate jury exhibition – he added two eyes at the top of the canvas to balance the silhouette at the bottom, adapted from a long exposure photo he took of himself lit by red lights in a swimming pool. As the white paint raised on the blue field in “Jack’s Revenge” indicates, Hernandez said he also enjoys working with different textures on a canvas. Rather than using a spatula, Hernandez said he used a convenient method of running his gloved fingers through the paint. Regarding the content of the book, he said it is open to interpretation.

“It’s up to the viewer to decide what they want out of it,” Hernandez said. “For some of my pieces, I usually don’t explain much, just because I think it’s interesting to see what people come up with and how they reinterpret the image. It depends on the individual.

The last of the two tracks, “Go Fvck Yourself :)”, has been produced halfway through for a painting class, although it is also intended to be sold as postcards and prints. Looking to experiment with canvases and considering the aesthetic and commercial appeal, Hernandez stretched a Louis Vuitton print fabric over the canvas for the backdrop of the artwork. The two kissing characters are both Hernandez, giving the work its double meaning. A heart surrounds the doily-like figures – lace is an interesting material, Hernandez said, because it is the aesthetic of lingerie and the elderly.

[Related: Maker’s Medium: Harlan Goldman-Belsma shares his view of the world through pen drawings]

The use of doppelgängers in “Go Fvck Yourself :)”, as well as the horror genre seen in the evil eyes and fiery reds of “Revenge of Jack” are themes that guest professor of new genres Marco Rios has said. that Hernandez had explored in the video work to classify her. Rios said Hernandez also used the open interpretive approach to talk about his art in new genres, never wanting to impose an idea on the viewer.

“(His work) has always been in this ambiguous state and he was very reluctant to tie it to a fixed meaning,” Rios said. “(This) resonates with me personally. … It seemed like what I was watching was (him) trying to work out an idea.

Hernandez’s boyfriend Patrick Cleary said this open-ended approach to interpretation is common in Hernandez’s work. In a recent conversation with Hernandez, Cleary said she noted that anyone who attributes meaning to paintings improvises at best, and any conclusion is just a viewer’s best guess. Nonetheless, Cleary said Hernandez struggled to see the value of his art, to the point where Hernandez will tear up and destroy his paintings to reclaim his power over the work.

As Hernandez strives to find the value of his art, Cleary said another point of growth has been the balance between being paid for his work and making it accessible to the public. Hernandez once offered to take $ 40 for a part that took him at least 10 hours – which would be below minimum wage, Cleary said. While Hernandez has said he understands the art world’s appreciation for scarcity and that the stigma of selling art stems from the real risk of sold-out artists, he is looking for ways to make art affordable at all costs. by being able to support themselves financially.

But whether Hernandez is selling his work or showing it in a gallery, Cleary said that making art gives Hernandez a certain sense of self-fulfillment.

“Give him a bunch of sticks or a bunch of mud (and he’ll speak out to the world and create something beautiful,” Cleary said. “That’s what he really wants – to make the world. a nicer place for people. ”


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