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Mary Clay Hernandez

Guanajuato Series V: The Serenade/La Serenata

2005, Oil on canvas, 60"w x 48"h

The Guanajuato Series depicts a celebration of life in the colonial town of Guanajuato. These are very personal paintings from memories of my family’s everyday life surrounded by the art, history, culture, romance and legends of four hundred years.

The paintings develop spontaneously on the canvas, referencing many photographs and memories. Closely viewed, surprise vignettes appear, revealing stories of my family interacting with legendary and real town characters, famous artists, musicians, heroes, ghosts and mummies. I apply impasto with a palette knife, emulating the rough and colorful stucco walls of Mexico that contain the vignettes in a setting from some corner of the town.

Magical realism, in my opinion, is the style that best describes these paintings. Latin American writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Juan Rulfo, wrote about small-town enchantments, incorporating ghosts and myths in their books. Their works have inspired me to continue in this style in the ongoing Guanajuato Series.


Mary Clay Hernandez - Guanajuato Series V: The Serenade/La Serenata

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