Rising Eyes of Texas
by Marcos Hernandez
What traversed in between the time that I first came to the United States and became a legal resident was a mediocre attempt to integrate myself to a society naturally foreign to me while still trying to prove myself to the ‘more-Mexi-than-thou’ crowd. In the end I’m neither from here nor from there, and with this sense of cultural independence I’ve dedicated myself to take and enjoy anything from everything. If I were to call myself anything though, it would be Mexican, but not by definition of the law. It would be by the cultural assurance that pretty much anyone below the Tropic of Cancer would be considered as such at first glance.
With it too however comes a dissonance, and that is where I try to use my artwork as a medium. The subjects are landscapes; references abound to the sierras and plains of north-central Mexico. I remember taking many trips when I was younger, we would wake up a Saturday morning and as dawn broke we would be riding on a bus to visit my parent’s rancho, their little hometown village on the side of a hill and help my grandparents with chores around the house. I remember in those rides peering out the window and seeing the horizon come to me, the sun rising and setting in-between hillsides, the long endless fields uniformly burrowed, with the same exactitude and grandiosity that of the colonnades in Saint Peter’s Square.
My work is expressionist in nature. The distortions, the exaggerations, the oblique rows, worn and jumbled architecture, harsh contrasts and shadows, they enable me to display the immediacy of the moments caught in a moving panorama. They allow me to capture the ever-morphing landscape as the horizon is constantly renewed while also letting me fixate on stationary memories and fragments of such. When titling my work, I like using the name ‘Milpa’ for its cultural reference. A milpa is a corn field; in parts of Mexico this land is held as commons. The communal aspect gives it certain anonymity; I feel able to use this land freely in my pieces as it belongs to me in the form of memories. It reflects nostalgia for a rural Mexico that I grew up in and no longer exists, a harkening back to a time before I unknowingly uprooted myself to a different world.4