"Rival Lands" is a showcase of artists with two distinct aesethic styles that are both focused on presenting art as narrative. With intimate representations of "place" & "people" and informed by the context of their indivdual facticity, both artists render detail intense depictions of surreal and fantastic worlds and characters, rich with its own history, culture, mythology and symbolism. Juxtaposed together in one space like two nations that share a border, "Rival Lands" is a show about finding the commonality in contrast and similar ideals between two reflective recreations of the one real world.
Adam Hernandez is a Columbus based artist by way of The Bronx, NY. Through his unique mythology, which he dubbed "Land of Thunderbirds", Hernandez tells the tales of the heroes and gods that dominate his realm. The Land of Thunderbirds is a dream-like & distant post apocalyptic future where magic and spirituality are as real as the crumbling ruins they inhabit. Describing his work as a kind of "ghetto hieroglyphics", or the result of handing a dozen Aztec warriors spray cans and turning them loose in the neighborhood--Hernandez draws equal influence from graffiti as well as Native folk art, in particular the glyphs and carvings of the Maya and Aztec cultures, to create work that is energetic, bright and powerful and all about independence, transformation and growth.
Brian Gonnella is an artist & writer from Pittsburgh PA. His latest work explores the way the conditions of Late Capitalism are transforming the future of human culture into a realm of HyperReality-- a condition in which it is impossible to distinguish between reality and simulation--and the implications that has for society. Blending aspects of street art, digital illustration & collage, the work presents a picture of a world of as self-contained, surreal capitalist ecosystems, no longer bound to their ontological foundations, and floating in a deconstructed consumer world of free associative symbolism and a colorfully illuminated but nihilistic Pop-existence.