Vicente Hernández

Vicente Hernández: The Border Character of Time

Last modified: January 27, 2023

When we deep into the pieces of the artist Vicente Hernández (Batabanó, 1971) the sight and the senses are trapped in a vertiginous way. It is a magnet that attracts, a voice that shouts at us, a field that invites us to enter through its labyrinths and to explore the structures of all kind of stays that play with the memory, the intelligence and many concepts; those which crowd between forms/colors and that line that is never completely straight in his creations. It is one of the reasons why his paintings, also, submerge us in the harmony of the universe. The work of the creator – graduated with honors from the Superior Pedagogical Institute “Enrique Jose Varona”, Havana (1994), in Plastic Arts – explores the border character of Time, and penetrates in the metaphorical richness of its membranes, which can separate the interior from the exterior, and that divide a universe from the other as its obverse/opposite.

Everything enters in his world, since with every creation (plunged into curved lines), emerged from his expert hands, he makes us feel this sensation of living in a planet, in a “rounded balloon” that drifts in the space. Not only physically, but also internally, because of the vast of the surface in which he moves (earth, sea and sky); it is so immense that he can touch everything… It is, in a word, that sensation as if he was seeing with the eyes of a God that from the highest, observes the movement of each one of us. Although there is something that betrays him, something earthly, earthling and Cuban: the love for his native land, Batabanó. This little and forgotten port in the South of Mayabeque, bathed by the Caribbean sea, is the center of the Earth, of the world, the center of his creations. He and his paintings were born there. Regardless of how many elements are accumulated in the canvas, despite all the known places (Paris, Havana, New York, Toronto, Rome, Venice…), and invented artifacts, means of transportation, houses, people…Batabanó appears in the most incredible and real form.

To talk about his artistic work, we have to be armed with all possible munitions, and then we can have the power to conquer his wildest dreams, those that wander around also through the oil woven histories; and “to know” the dissimilar languages to understand/attain the majority of words/events/situations… that are shaking in this immense pictorial sea where many concepts such as the time, the cyclones, the world, the life, the sky (as immensity), Batabanó… and many others are shuffled. Among many sensations that overcome the spectator, there is one that stands out: when looking at his paintings, we know that the time has stopped there; a process that does not go with the contemporary, so dynamic, always in movement. It is as if it never occurred “apparently” – says the creator- because everything swings behind, moves… One just need to observe the wind that flocks through the canvas wrapped in those shades of color so personal that always identify the creator. Cold and warm tones that complement each other and flow from the center to the border of the “semicircle”, and this air of storm that reminds him of those cyclones which beat constantly the defenseless coasts of the port of Surgidero de Batabanó, and never abandons it. Precisely, to avoid oblivion, he paints and constructs from his canvases – that will be one day Patrimony of this town, almost ghostly nowadays – memories of what it was. It is his (real) Macondo. All of this blended in shades which come from Surrealism, Conceptualism and, in these last times, with hyper-realist dimensions added to that context, without forgetting the magic realism of these lands!


Vicente Hernández was born in 1971 at Batabano, Mayabeque. Painter, sculptor, engraver and draftsman. His themes, relating to its roots, have been interpreted throughout a sieve of baroque surrealism, which in literature is known as magical realism and marvelous reality. He has participated in approximately 100 international art fairs, in America and Europe. He has realized 15 personal exhibitions and about 100 collective exhibitions around the world.

He has participated in Latin-American art auctions of Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips, in New York. His works have been reviewed by different books, magazines, newspapers and art catalogues. He has created or taken part in community projects and urban setting projects. He has given speeches and lectures in his country and in the United States. His pieces can be found in important private collections in the United States, Mexico, Morocco, France, Peru, Spain, Italy, Japan, Dominican Republic, among others; as well and in some museums in Cuba, the United States and Brazil.

Toni Piñera
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Journalist for more than 30 years at the Granma newspaper, art and dance critic, professor at the National Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro, curator of Cuban art exhibitions (former director of the La Acacia gallery, Havana), poet.

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