Hermann Mejía (1973) is an American visual artist with Latin American roots, having been born in Caracas. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, where he has had his studio for the last couple of decades. He was recently featured by the Huffington Post, in a piece published to coincide with the date of Simon Bolivar’s birthday, as one of 15 famous Venezuelan artists its readers “should know about”.
His first involvement as an art creator was during adolescence, through the street art movement, which led to distinctive tags and murals of his decorating street corners and main thoroughfares in Caracas for many years.
He subsequently received formal training and a graphic design and illustration degree at the prestigious Instituto de Diseño de Caracas (Caracas Design Institute, 1991-1995)
Starting in 1995, he began exploring fine arts as a vehicle for more personal artistic expression, which resulted in artworks that have been shown in many art exhibitions, both collective ones and solo shows, initially in Venezuela and later in several other countries. At the same time, he has worked as an on-demand illustrator for written media and for many publishers.
I create because it allows me to communicate very complex and abstract ideas and emotions in a very articulate form. My work is also my main form of introspection, meditation and therapy all rolled into one. I discover myself and I discover existence with each piece.
During my entire life in the creative path, I never approached the process with a rigid or fixed purpose or theme. But when I look back to my work throughout the years it is obvious to me now that there are general streams and currents of inspiration that recur and seem to be latched to my unconscious.
Tension is probably my central exploration. I seem to be usually drawn to melancholy, violence, tragedy, life, death and oblivion, but always in a context of tension. The power and the conflict that derives from the tension is probably my main fascination.
The emotions linked to the things that could have been but never were... The idea of loss. Loss of spaces, loss of possibilities. The fight against the loss and the stress embedded in that battle. The resulting ruptures with all the energy that's liberated in the process.
With any of my works, the sensation that drives me to start any piece is hidden from me until then end, when it gets finally revealed! The initial idea is a first step, a blueprint with a vague proposal of a path to follow; for me, to create requires being able to listen to the needs of the piece being developed. Even though each work is born from an idea, to constrain myself to it would mean losing, out of stubbornness, other chances of discovering myself.
In my creative process I mostly start by collecting references from life, from photographs, from the web... The images are diverse; as a group they do not form any kind of unit, nor suggest anything in common. What I find attractive in them are certain details that may seem trivial: a hand, a smile, a cigarette, a gesture, a collection of branches, a certain angle... those details remind me of something, make me feel longing in some cases, in others tenderness, anguish; they leave their contexts of origin to become part of the contexts that form me; to become my sensations. In the way of a mental collage I regroup them, deform them, force them; turn them into beings, into forms, into shapes. In some rare occasions our relationship goes along harmoniously, but more frequently I notice in them the rejection of one who has undergone a transplant. That fight to impose order on our way to disorder, to arrive to a soothing state of tension is, in general, what I search for.
- 2017 Within, Gallery Elena Shchukina. London, UK - Solo
- 2017 Shifting Landscapes, Sophia Contemporary Gallery. London, Uk - Group
- 2016 Hermann Mejia, Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas (MACC). Caracas, Venezuela - Solo
- 2016 (In) Between, Filser & Gräf Gallery. Munich, Germany - Solo
- 2015 Tirapiedra, Midoma Gallery. New York, USA - Solo
- 2015 Small Works, Trestle Gallery. Brooklyn, USA - Group
- 2014 Fonzo Miami, Curator’s Voice Art Proyect. Miami, USA - Group
- 2014 Eyesight is Insight, One Art Space Gallery. New York, USA - Group
- 2014 Contemporary Landscapes and Other Fantasies, The Modern Barn, East Hampton, USA - Group
- 2013 Summer Salon, Trestle Gallery. Brooklyn, USA - Group
- 2013 In TRansition, Ambush Gallery. Sydney, Australia - Group
- 2012 Studio La Perla - Collective Show (20 years after). Excideuil Castle. Dordgne, France - Group
- 2008 Art Auction - Step by Step. Durba Segnini Gallery. Miami, USA - Group
- 2004 Spanglish. Solar Gallery. East Hampton, USA - Group
- 2004 Clear and Present Danger. Galou Gallery. Brooklyn, USA - Group
- 2003 Latin-Art Digital Diaspora. Studio Soto. Boston, USA - Group
- 2003 L Factor. Exit Art. New York, NY-USA - Group
- 2003 Amazonas, Consulate of Venezuela. New York, USA - Group
- 2002 That Smell of Beauty. Consulate of Venezuela. New York, USA - Solo
1995 Illustration, Design Institute of Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela