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Francisco Hernández: Healing Insanities and Working from Chaos

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Francisco Hernández: Healing Insanities and Working from Chaos

MC: You are a painter, a draughtsman and a writer. Which of these do you identify yourself more?

FH: It is true that I practice all three but I am truly more related to painting and drawing. When you create a piece of art you can see it right there, you sense it. The creation sends a powerful feedback to you. [That validates] of your effort. It’s as if you drink a “mate” and it is there, in front of you. I can like it or dislike it; that is [often] a silent dialogue between you and your creation.

MC: You were part of “Poetas del Mundo” [A Chilean NGO that has spread worldwide]. Tell me about that experience please and if you wrote for other publications.

FH: I wrote some poems for Poetas del Mundo because the founder, Luis Arias Manzo had read an interview about the poet, Jacobo Fijman, and so he hired me. It was an amazing challenge. I am very grateful to Mr. Arias Manzo. I was also published in some magazines in Uruguay, Spain and Buenos Aires.

MC: Your art is full of animals. Why is that?

FH: Recently I became aware that the rabbit, for instance, takes me back to my childhood. My father used to feed the baby rabbits with a feeding bottle. Besides, rabbits are always alert, they know what is going on around them; they are quick-witted and have a sense that enables them to anticipate things before they happen; like a fortuneteller. Spain was a land of rabbits too and this made it a more special place too.

MC: How was the process of changing from acrylic to collage? Was it unconscious?

FH: As you paint you try different materials and techniques. A pencil is more a means of “thinking”; of creation and when you make a painting or a collage is an orgasm of artistic expression. A painting is not a mere drawing to which you add color. No way. It is an unconscious trip; a process that reveals at its own rhythm.

MC: What is most important to you: an expert critic or an ordinary man´s opinion?

FH: Both. I appreciate and I am happy when a critic likes my paintings as well as when an individual says something to me. I am always learning. But, mostly, art is a universal language, there are no boundaries. I believe in art as a peaceful, empathetic means of inclusive communication.

MC: What is death to you? And [likewise] what life?

FH: It is an undeniable mystery. Life is a dream between two “empty zones” where you share life with all the dogmas; the greedy and the Popes. Nature shows us, at every moment, the miracle of life, the rebirth, the wheat that becomes bread, the fall leaves that turn into humus, the newborns and the oxygen, invisible like God but impossible to live without it.

MC: What makes you happy or sad?

FH: The laughter of babies all around the world; that makes me glad. Regarding unhappiness, I am sad when I perceive malice, greed, when humans treat planet Earth just as a place to run a business and are unable to see it is a splendid piece of art. The one and only! I cannot bear the suffering of the little ones, their need for food, water, shelter and love.

MC: Have you ever been heartbroken?

A broken heart is the other face of love. God who is wise says “No, that is not the path” but human beings are very stubborn. It is similar to one of my “Dibugrafías” (drawings): you can see the lights because they are surrounded by shadows. “Life is a rosary of absences” said Rumano Cioran.

I reflect upon heartbroken…his words, unspoken, are enough to respect his silence…

MC: Do you have a favorite phrase?

FH: Yes, it is the one by Paul Valery: “A minute of silence is the opportunity of a ripe fruit” [Then almost in a whisper, with such humility that pierces me with tenderness, he says:] If you allow me I would like to add that “Inner silence is energy and, because of that condition, the raw material for all the arts.”

I approach this wise man and I hug him. In absolute silence my mind reminds me that we all have, at least once, seen the world with a previous background but we have forgotten its secret. Are we daring enough to recover it? Francisco is already ahead of us all, he oscillates between the rational and the magic: he found his self. His Demian. [1]

You can see more of Francisco Hernández’s work here

Note [1]: Demian refers to the book by Hermann Hesse

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