In 2000, at the age of six my family and I migrated to the U.S. from Mexico. Seventeen years later I had an opportunity to return. During my visit I was confronted by ideas of family, belonging, memory, and rejection. My grandmother’s distance could be felt. I wondered if it was due to time and physical separation or a rejection of the person I grew up to be.
My earliest memories, playing under the lime and banana trees in my grandmother’s garden. During my return, when the distance between me and my grandmother felt especially heavy I would ask her about her plants. She would tell me about her papaya tree, her pomegranate tree which was as old as me (a gift from my mother), her roses, her lime trees.
I would wander through the garden when I felt trapped in her home and in that town that was no longer mine. As I walked around I came across a snakeskin and the red stick left from a firework. Sometimes we outgrow the places we once called home, our skin sheds. Prayers are answered and all that’s left are the remnants of the fireworks.
— Juan Molina Hernández
autoretrato o piel vieja y lo que sobra de una manda cumplida
(self-portrait or old skin and remnants of a prayer answered)
July 13, 2019 – August 3, 2019
Hours: Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays 4-7
Discussion: Sunday, July 28 at 3
Juan Molina Hernández, born in Guanajuato, México, is a Chicago-based visual artist. Molina Hernández’s art practice primarily uses photography and more recently writing, video, and artist books to create narratives that address the complexities of the hybrid immigrant identity. By appropriating symbols from the environment, culture, and personal memory they construct stories in relation to place, family, and a culture that never speaks one language.
Molina Hernández graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2016 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in photography. They have completed residencies at Artists’ Cooperative Residency & Exhibitions and the Chicago Artist Coalition. In the past, they have exhibited at ACRE Projects, Aurora Public Art Commission, Evanston Art Center, Elmhurst Art Museum, Gallery 214, Jack Olson Gallery, North Branch Arts Center, Riverside Art Museum, as well as White Ripple Gallery & Co. autoretrato o piel vieja y lo que sobra de una manda cumplida will be their first solo exhibition. For more information about the artist, please visit juanmolinahernandez.com.