Marco Hernandez completed his residency at Zea Mays in 2018. He’s a Wichita, Kansas based artist who teaches printmaking at Wichita State University. Hernandez writes in his artist statement that his “current body of work explores issues associated with the societies and politics of contemporary Mexican and Mexican American Cultures. I am inspired by my personal experiences growing up as a Mexican immigrant in California and the Midwest. Mexican and Mexican American symbols play a large role in my prints. The symbols span from ancient Mesoamerican imagery to contemporary popular culture items, such as the Valentina hot sauce. Life experiences and a traditional Mexican upbringing have influenced my thoughts and beliefs; and ultimately have been inspirational to the imagery and meaning in my current work.” Hernandez reflected on his time at Zea Mays, what he learned and how it has impacted his practice now.
Hernandez worked on two series of etchings during his time at Zea Mays and completed a total of 4 prints. He writes that “the imagery and technique in my work changed because I normally work really slow. My residency was only for two weeks which made me decide that I wanted to work on imagery and techniques that required less time to complete.” Hernandez said he learned a lot from his time at Zea Mays specifically about non-toxic etching practices, having had little experience with non-toxic etching methods before, “I explored new and non-toxic ways of working with the etching process. I learned to use safe materials, solvents, and new ways of creating marks of copper. It was a great experience and I learned so much.” Hernandez wrote that a lot of what he learned at Zea Mays he is still currently using and that it has impacted his personal practice as well as the way he teaches. “I really enjoyed my time at Zea Mays and hope to visit the studio in the future. Liz and everyone who works at Zea Mays made my experience very satisfying.”
Hernandez wrote that the pandemic has really slowed down his creative practice, he was not able to access his studio for about two months and did little creative work during that time. He says he is currently back in the studio and working on a couple of new etchings.
Check out more of Hernandez’s work at his website, www.marco hernandez-art.com, and follow him on Instagram @marco.hernadez1988