I couldn't possibly have expected that an artist-led talk/presentation would commence with playing *the* quintessential 80s music video, Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" but in that sense, I was wrong. Dead wrong. And when I say "dead", I mean really 'effin dead as Miami-born artist Hernan Bas used the video to allude to the influence of the paranormal in his work, among other themes present in the video. (Including, but not limited to Gothic architecture, homosexuality, and yes, the soap opera "Passions.") As an aside, I challenge you to watch the video below and *not* get the song stuck in your head to the point of being driven mad.
On 11 May 2017, the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami (ICA Miami) graciously hosted an artist talk featuring Hernan Bas in Design District's Palm Court that was widely attended and as alluded to in the aforementioned equally as entertaining as it was serious, insightful and inspirational. Bas is no stranger to Miami (as is evidenced by an array of flamingos thrown into his work) and it being his birthplace. His work has appeared in numerous shows and private collections from the Bass Museum, the Rubell Family Collection, MOCA North Miami and the Snitzer Gallery, to name a few.
Bas' presentation was genuine and entertaining. He provided the audience with an overview of an array of his works/series in a manner that felt really approachable. As an added perk, ICA Next Level members were invited to a private cocktail hour where they were given the opportunity to purchase the 2014 Rizzoli-published signed monograph of his work.
Eventually, "turnaround bright eyes" led to "Bright Young Things", a series Bas exhibited at Lehmann Maupin in New York City. I was intrigued by his knowledge of literature, history, and frankly, dandyism that made its way into his series. As Lehmann Maupin describes the show, "Bas draws from a pool of references found in art, poetry, religion, mythology, film, and literature. In this recent series, he turns his attention specifically to 1920s London, and a group of young, bohemian aristocrats that emerged post-World War I." I particularly enjoyed the physical material of 24K gold leaf used in his screens as a nod to the opulence and daftness of his subjects from that particular period as well as falling for an Art Deco motif.
I'm not quite sure that I, personally, can bridge the gap between romanticism, literature and ghosts but then again, I'm not Hernan Bas. Special thanks to ICA for their gracious hosting & to the artist for the out-of-the-box type inspiration that anyone in the arts yearns for.
© Los Bandidos del Arte, 2017.