Artist of the Week – Emily Hernandez

The piece that caught my attention this week was an oil painting titled “Callous”. The canvas focused on an individual man who was in color, literally blue, and surrounded by a contrasting background color of red. These were the basis of the painting as the artist used various hues and shades of blue and red. The emotion that this mysterious man brought out was pure pain in not only the fact that he was stabbing himself, but through the facial expression that he portrayed.
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The artist of this beautiful piece is Emily Hernandez, a fifth year art student at California State Long Beach. What I admired about Emily was that she was very open into sharing her insight to not only art, but life. To begin, I asked Emily who was the man behind “Callous” and she said it was her boyfriend. From the way she got lost in explaining her inspiration behind the painting, it was clear to see how in love she was with this man. She explained that the focus of the piece was initially supposed to be herself, but in a last minute change she decided to dedicate it to her boyfriend. This man, who I unfortunately forgot to ask his name, is apparently one who’s stature is 6″4 and that because of so, many assume he is big, scary, and intimidating. Emily continued to say that in not only her boyfriend’s , but in all men’s lives, they have this expectation to be strong; however, in today’s world Emily believes we should not be afraid of what other people think. So for her boyfriend, this piece is a gift to say that it is okay to be who you are, which in her opinion is this big, but kind hearted and quiet man. The piece overall reflects the pains of having to hide your true self and the pressures of outside critics. From that brief moment of explanation, I really had been captivated by Emily. It was a conversation that I didn’t want to end. She continued to tell me more about herself saying that her parents were her biggest inspirations and believes that in another life they were amazing artists. Surprisingly , I even learned that Emily was originally a ceramist, but developed skills in painting after 2 years of classes. Emily told me there was something more intellectual about painting because, whereas ceramics is all obvious truth, painting challenges you to create a lie. There was something fascinating about painting people, which she said is her main focus, as landscape isn’t that interesting to her, mainly because you can reveal so much in an individuals body language.

This week’s artist conversation was definitely one that I will never forget. In fact, it actually made me envy every artist in the world. They had this ability to create such beauty and convey their artwork as their own personal diary. Because of so, Emily showed me that the only way one can really ever interpret a piece is if you hear it from the artist themselves. I really enjoyed hearing about Emily’s outlook on life and agreed with every point she said, especially about being proud to be yourself. It was really eye opening to know that there are artists out there who analyze different forms of art the way Emily does, referring to the statement in which she said that paining is like creating a lie, a thought that never had occurred to me before. I think that with Emily’s mindset, she will have a long and successful career ahead of her if she keeps doing what she is doing.

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( Emily says she doesn’t have a public social media outlet that displays her art.)

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