José Antonio Hernández-Diez's fourth solo exhibition was held at Sandra Gering Gallery in its former Chelsea location.
In his sculptural and photographic work, Hernández-Diez explores a personal iconography centered on familiar, often domestic, objects. He manipulates the objects by physically reconfiguring them and/or by playing with scale, in such a way that invests the quotidian with philosophical and emotional resonance, as well as dark humor.
The exhibition at Sandra Gering Gallery will include three new sculptures and two new photographs. In the sculptures, articles of clothing are stretched between mechanized elements, fabricated from bicycle frames. Pulled from side to side, the clothing symbolizes the artist's sense of being caught between two worlds (his native Caracas and current home, Barcelona). The use of the bicycles suggests travel and mobility, but the bicycles are without wheels — unable to be ridden. This tension between possibility and futility is indicative of much of Hernández-Diez's work, including his seminal skateboard sculptures.
The large-scale photographs in the exhibition also appropriate the pop symbol of blue jeans and t-shirts. In one photo, a pair of jeans is discarded on an armchair, the waistband turned inside out so that the care label and pockets are exposed. The image itself feels personal and intimate, though the intimacy is contradicted by the imposing size of the work. This photograph, with the pants looking like a shed skin, alludes to transience, change, and impermanence.
José Antonio Hernández-Diez was born in Venezuela and currently lives and works in Barcelona. A retrospective exhibition of his work traveled to SITE Santa Fe, the Palm Beach ICA, and the New Museum in 2002-2003. He has had recent solo exhibitions in Caracas and Sao Paolo.