São Paulo

José Antonio Hernández-Diez

Galeria Camargo Vilaça

Caracas-based José Antonio Hernández-Diez seems, at 31, reluctant to let go of the symbols of his youth. Consider the dominant theme of his first one-person show in São Paulo—the skateboard. Consider also, a photograph published in a local newspaper the week the exhibition opened, which showed the artist wearing a baseball cap backwards. As “symptoms of U.S. imperialism,” skateboards and baseball caps may prompt Marxist readings, but despite the artist’s and this writer’s Latin American background, the concerns in this show were of another order altogether. Besides, if you’re really looking for Latin America’s sacred heart, Hernández-Diez already made it: Corazón Sangrante (Bleeding heart, 1991)—a bull’s heart encased in a Plexiglas crucifix incorporating other typically Latin American gadgets such as plasma and surgical equipment.

Indy, the central piece of Hernández-Diez’s recent show (

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