Español / English 20:27 ; Friday 09 June 2023

To see all the work of Carmelo Hernando as images,
click on semiotic web

A Spanish contemporary artist

It is undoubtedly worth the effort to delve into these pages to get to know an artist who is reportedly among the photomontage greatest experts, a chronological successor to Heartfield and Renau, and a living part of Spain’s iconographic history.

Carmelo Hernando (Haro, La Rioja, Spain, 1954) is a pop artist from the reflection, a witness from his position in the space-time, a conscious historicist, the author of a multifaceted, magnificent output.

In a willing rebirth process in 2006, he starts what he names “recent works” in two frontlines: the virtual domain —creating the reflexive verb, realizing audiovisual statements and wading into “the digital combinatorial art”— and the physical one, win which he tackles oil painting on canvas for the first time.

A novice, inexpert painter with Duchamp’s naming audacity, Hernando sets out ambitiously to revisit paths already trodden by Rousseau, Magritte and de Chirico. As a quixotic Spaniard of sorts challenging the dystopian windmills, he succumbs in the twenty-first century to the age-old fascination for figurative colour.

Blurring Warhol y Lichtenstein, feeling in community with Hockney’s reflective studies, and treating the spirit of Equipo Crónica to a new lease of life, Hernando’s new painting blooms with an irony bordering sarcasm, out of its time, against the mainstream trends.

His present moment could be incoprehensible in the absence of an analysis of his earlier output.

Since his childhood, his career has been consistently crisscrossed by transverse lines which have been fundamental for him to understand himself and work as keys to the public: time, colour, the Spanish space-time, ecology, technology, ethics, aesthetics and anthropomorphic shapes as an uninterrupted thread from Pharaonic Egypt all the way to Walt Disney.

An entire life compiled and digitized in two parallel worlds: the semiotic website (1.5 GB) —click HERE to see a clip— and the semantic website (over 121,000 words) you are visiting in this very instant.

An adventurer if there ever was one, Carmelo Hernando registered his first works in 1969 and has tested forever different techniques to express himself before the world: photomontages, acrylics, books, puppets, comic-books, exhibition design, audiovisual works, merchandise and oil paintings. His output has been in show both in collective and individual exhibitions in Barcelona, New York, Oviedo and Logroño. He has savoured critical acclaims, economic failure and the audiences’ recognition. Scholars, journalists, designers, museum curators and others have written about him.