"These paintings depict the combination of stylistic influences from Lucian Freud, Beatriz Gonzales, Frank Auerbauch and Glenn Brown (oil painting with a heavy emphasis on colors and expressive brush strokes) with the influences of growing up in a Mexican household and the inevitable presence of Mexican culture living most of my life in the south east side of Austin, Texas.
The subjects behind my work are drawn from my interest in life and death. I often create opposition by placing the skull with something that's alive, or colors that shift the tone from something grim to something more welcoming. My artwork references current events and reflects the social climate, often questioning identity and Mexican-American culture in the art world, and the absence of Mexican artists in art history textbooks.
The recurring use of the human skull alludes, not only to its historic use as a representation of mortality, but also to the egalitarian aspect of the human skull. When we first see the skulls we are not able to tell what gender or race they are. The only thing we see is the details, and some would say personalities, I have painted onto them. My work is about my own identity and representation that I feel is lacking in the art world. The spotlight is often on different cultures and lifestyles in Texas, I am often on the search for the Latin richness and stylistic approaches to artwork I didn't get to learn about in school." ' - Juan Hernandez
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