Two created worlds collide in Adam Hernandez/Natalia Sanchez duo show
When Adam Hernandez explained the title of his duo show with Natalia Sanchez — “Zona Alterna,” Spanish for “Alternate Zones” — he described it as the meeting of two worlds. But he could have been referring to Puerto Rico and the Short North.
Stop by Two Truths on Saturday, Aug. 5, order a coquito and check out the work of these two Columbus artists of Puerto Rican heritage.
“We had talked about doing something together, and [my fiancee] Molly [Ryan] would suggest it to us,” Hernandez said in an interview at a Downtown coffee shop. “But it was always ‘someday.'”
Hernandez's previously booked show at Two Truths provided what he saw as an opportunity to make ‘someday' happen, so he broached the idea again with Sanchez.
“I felt like I was going to be really busy and I wasn't sure, but we went to the space and talked and started brainstorming about what I could do and I decided [to do it] because it seemed like it would be a lot of fun and that it could also be really, really good,” Sanchez said.
“There aren't too many other Puerto Rican artists here in Columbus, so it was cool we could make it at least somewhat about Puerto Rico,” Hernandez said. Sanchez is a native of Puerto Rico whose family still lives there. Hernandez grew up in the Bronx, raised by parents who moved to New York City from Puerto Rico.
Sanchez said her work is influenced by her home country in many ways, not least of which is her preferred color palette, which is inspired in part by the bright colors of old San Juan, where she has spent many weekends. Hernandez's ancestral roots impact his work in a perhaps more subtle fashion, although he experienced a revelation on a trip to Puerto Rico last fall.
“My dad is from a rural area, and there's a lot of, like, jungle and a lot of places where plants have taken over these abandoned buildings,” he said. “My universe, ‘Land of Thunderbirds,' is inspired by that, which is just so weird because I have been doing that [previously]. I was like, ‘Is this some kind of innate, genetic thing?' It was almost eerie.”
“Zona Alterna” juxtaposes Hernandez's ‘Land of Thunderbirds' work with Sanchez's thoughtful and striking figurative and geometric work. A collaborative piece finds one of Sanchez's characters opening a portal into Hernandez's world.
“This show gave me a chance to explore some ideas I've been wanting to work on, and to create a different sort of world than his, and then to figure out how we could unite both of those worlds,” Sanchez said.