Pablo Hernandez, El Paso artist will present work that is inspired by Indigenous past at Casa Ortiz
Pablo Hernandez, a painter and tattoo artist, will be featured in Casa Ortiz’s upcoming group show “An Overwhelming Chemical.”
Gaby Velasquez, El Paso Times
After being a tattoo artist for about 10 years, native El Pasoan Pablo Hernandez To devote more time to painting, we are reducing the amount of ink art.
Hernandez, who has been drawing and painting since he was in elementary school, will be the featured artist for the First Friday celebration from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, at Casa Ortiz, 10167 Socorro Road in Socorro.
“I have been tattooing since the age of 20 or 21. I’ve dedicated my life to oil painting and tattooing. He said that he recently quit his job in Santa Fe to pursue oil painting full-time and is now interested in murals.
Hernandez, a 30-year-old tattoo artist who works at Red Skull Tattoos El Paso, stated that tattooing had become too demanding.
“Santa Fe is an art hub and it was a pleasure to be able earn a living by painting. However, I was able to get my foot in this tattoo shop. He said that while I was grateful for the income and the fun it brought, it made me feel like I had lost sight of what I wanted.
“I guess I realized that marking people permanently on skin has to be meaningful and I have to be completely in it if I want to make it a good experience for them — they are going to remember me and the experience every time they see their tattoo,” he added.
Hernandez stated that he will be more selective with tattoo jobs to allow him to devote more time to acrylic painting.
The work that he is featuring Friday will showcase his interest in Mesoamerican history and Indigenous people.
“I really liked the COVID quarantine because I was indoors all day painting,” he said. “Usually, I stay up late trying to finish a painting.
Some of his pieces are inspired by the Virgende Guadalupe’s origins as well as other Indigenous gods.
“Apparently, the way she was created was almost like the Spanish trying to absorb the religion of the Mexica, the Aztecs. They pretty much told them you have to worship a Catholic god, but you can make your own version — so the Virgen de Guadalupe is what came from that,” he said. “She is supposed to be the first mestiza.”
In the painting, the dark virgin is blocking the sun and is painted in way that makes the rays behind her shinier than the rest of the work. The work also includes swords piercing through a jaguar to symbolize the warriors and Spaniards.
Hernandez believes that part of his interest in his heritage is a bit like that scene from “Selena” in which Edward James Olmos’ character, who plays Selena’s dad, tells his children they are not Anglo enough for the Anglos and have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans.
“Painting is like discovering my roots and myself. He said that he believes we share a common story in which we aren’t really from Mexico …,”. El Paso is more of a bridge than we are. It is home to many Mexican immigrants who have flourished and thrived in this area. Then, I feel like many of us forget where we came from. So we need to bridge the gap.
Hernandez said he plans to continue living in Santa Fe and come to El Paso periodically for tattoo work.
María Cortés González may be reached at 915-546-6150; [email protected]; @EPTMaria on Twitter.
Plan your trip
What: Pablo Hernandez, artist at First Friday Art Celebration
Where: Casa Ortiz, 10167 Socorro Road in Socorro
When: 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3. Adrian Bautista will perform a live acoustic show at 7:30 p.m., followed by Hayley Lynch, Manny Lozano and The Other Half.
Details: Alejandro Moreno and Angel Cabrales will also be performing.