El Paso artist Pablo Hernandez to share work inspired by Indigenous past at Casa Ortiz
Painter and tattoo artist Pablo Hernandez will be one of the artist featured at Casa Ortiz upcoming group show "An Overwhelming Chemistry."
Gaby Velasquez, El Paso Times
After being a tattoo artist for about 10years, native El Pasoan Pablo Hernandez is scaling back on the ink art to dedicate more time to painting.
Hernandez, who has been drawing and painting since he was in elementary school, will be the featured artist for theFirst Friday celebration from 5 to 11p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, atCasa Ortiz, 10167 Socorro Road in Socorro.
"I've been tattooing since I was 20 or 21 and have been dedicating myself to tattooing and oil painting. But I recently left my job in Santa Fe because I wanted to pursue oil painting full time and I'm starting to get into murals," he said.
Hernandez, 30, who stills works on tattoos at Red Skull Tattoos in El Paso, said tattooing was becoming too much of a 9-to-5 job.
"Santa Fe is a big art community and it felt good to be able to make a living at painting. But my foot in the door was going to this tattoo shop. I'm grateful for it because it was good income and a lot of fun, but I felt like I completely put what I went over there for in the back seat and it didn't feel good," he said.
"I guess I realized that marking people permanently on skin has to be meaningful and I haveto be completely in it if I wantto make it a good experience for them they are going to remember me and the experience every time they see their tattoo," he added.
Hernandez said he is going to be more selective in tattoo jobs so that he can devote more time to painting acrylics.
The work that he is featuring Friday will showcase his interest inMesoamerican history and Indigenous people.
"I really liked the COVIDquarantine because I was indoors all day painting," he said. "Usually, I stay up all night, trying to finish a painting."
Some of his pieces reflect the Virgen de Guadalupe and her origins, as well as various Indigenous gods.
"Apparently, the way she was created was almost like theSpanish trying to absorb the religion of the Mexica, the Aztecs. They pretty much told them you have to worship a Catholicgod, but you can make your own version so the Virgen de Guadalupe is what came from that," he said. "She's supposed to be known as the first mestiza."
In the painting, the dark virgin is blocking the sunand is painted in way that makes the rays behind her shinier thanthe rest of the work. The work also includes swords piercing through a jaguar to symbolize the warriors andSpaniards.
Hernandez believes that part of his interest in his heritage is a bit like that scene from "Selena" in which Edward James Olmos' character, who plays Selena's dad,tells his children they are not Anglo enough for the Anglos and have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans.
"Painting this is like discovering myself and my roots. I think we all share that common story where we are not really from here or Mexico ...," he said. "We're more like a bridge, being from El Paso. This is a place where many Mexican immigrants have come and blossomed and prospered. And then I feel like a lot of us are forgetting where we come from, so we have to be that bridge between the two."
Hernandez said heplans to continue living in Santa Fe and cometo El Paso periodically for tattoo work.
More: Casa Ortiz art gallery in Socorro celebrates artists at First Friday event
More: Here's your updated guide of things to do in the El Paso area in 2021-22
Mara Corts Gonzlez may be reached at 915-546-6150;firstname.lastname@example.org; @EPTMaria on Twitter.
What: First Friday art celebration featuring artist Pablo Hernandez
Where: Casa Ortiz,10167 Socorro Road in Socorro
When: 5 to 11p.m. Friday, Sept. 3. Live acoustic set by Adrian Bautista will start at 7:30 p.m.; followed by Hayley Lynch and Manny Lozano jazz duet and The Other Half
Details: Other artists will include Alejandro Moreno, Angel Cabrales, Christin Apodaca, Miguel Bonilla, and Ricardo Chavarria.
El Paso artist Pablo Hernandez to share work inspired by Indigenous past at Casa Ortiz - El Paso Times
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