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Chavez, Hernan Gomez

“Hernan Gomez Chavez was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1991, where he presently resides and works. From 2009 to 2014, he studied at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. In 2013, he studied abroad in the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague. He pursued an MFA in sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016.

Hernan’s artistic practice makes use of common motifs such as billboards, fences, and power lines to speak about the relation between power and place. Born to Mexican immigrants in the United States, his work aims to shine a light on his experience as a first-generation American living in the southwest. Living in the New Mexican desert and his proximity to the US-Mexico border greatly informs the aesthetic devices he uses in his work. One main reason for using images such as fences and walls is a way for him to further demonstrate his lived experience in a highly segregated city and also the larger discussions around national borders (both real and imagined).

Coming from a blue-collar background his work deconstructs old notions of the “American Dream.” By considering his place as intermediary between Mexican and American identities, he wants his work to speak to a broad audience. Although primarily focused on the creation of sculptural objects, he has been involved in grass roots campaigns and organizing, feeding into a social practice that goes out into the streets in order to create dialogue around home, belonging, and displacement.”

Episode: Home and Belonging, Hernan Gomez Chavez