Jonathan Herrera is a print-based studio artist and teacher from Chicago, IL. He has recently graduated and holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College in Art and Design. Through his studio practice and teaching philosophy, Herrera engages multiple facets of place-making and thinking in order to express ideas through concept building, process, and materials. He constantly works to create accessibility in both art and education by connecting his studio work, public work, and community engagement. Herrera has recently exhibited work at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, MN), and Concordia Gallery (St. Paul, MN).
Residency Period:Sep 2017–Dec 2017
Project Statement:As a recent college graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, I am excited to apply for this opportunity and make work rooted in my hometown during the duration of the residency. I graduated this past May with a BFA in printmaking and have a technical background in working with silkscreen, lithography, photolithography, relief, and monotype processes. During the Spudnik Residency opportunity I aim to produce a print based series surrounding issues of bodily disappearance and loss of identity. Through a socio-political lens, I investigate the spaces left behind by bodies to reveal lived experiences, memory, and trauma. The ritual that is preparing a matrix to produce a trace or impression, allows for the process itself to propagate a ceremonial quality—for example, the slicing into wood or the pouring of acid onto soft lithostone echoes and re-animates acts of violence that carries through an art-object’s final presentation.
My most recent work has progressively developed away from traditional means of printmaking. During my last year in college I began experimenting with printing directly on floors and walls with unconventional materials like mud mixtures made with clay, water, and ink. My work has also recently been very formal and direct by using portraits and slogans to convey a certain message. I would like to take some time and explore other, more abstract and quiet, formal methods to tell a story. The character of someone can be captured in different ways outside of using their portrait. In making this new series I aim to construct abstract images by printing multiple layers on fabric to make flag-like objects. I’d like to spend a long duration of time with one object and expect each print to have at least 100 light layers of people, places, and things that relate to my subject matter. I hope to spend each month constructing two “flags” to have a total of six objects to exhibit at the end of the residency. At this point in time I plan on these objects being large, at least 100” in length.