Hernan Bas' body of work displays a bridge between the staged journalism of consciously stylish pop art developed by artists like Elizabeth Peyton and the hyperrealism of Peter Doig and Neo Rauch. The works are both transportive and illusory. His hand is sometimes graphic yet painterly. The romantic atmosphere surrounds artifacts of the dandified sexuality and kitsch juvenile adolescence of The Hardy Boys. He describes his work in an abstract for Saatchi Gallery:
Heavily influenced by The Decadence period of literature, Hernan Bas’s paintings are inspired by well-worn pages of Wilde and Huysmans. “Why does homosexuality seem to make you pre-disposed to liking these things?” Bas questions. “As a result this work is tainted with Saint Sebastian martyr types, dying dandies and peacock feathers, all the materials that dictate a certain queer vocabulary."The current exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum contains works from several series including The Great Barrier Wreath drawing from the spirit of Hieronymus Bosch and Picasso's blue period. It's a recapitulation of pre-Modernist painting from a very postmodern perspective. The artist succeeds in portraying a world filled with danger, young lust, and cultic mystery.
The exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum is up currently and ends May 24th.