Ricardo Santos Hernández, PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL GAVLICK "Any good portrait is accomplished by catching people in the act of being themselves."My paintings and drawing currently draw inspiration from the industrial setting and location of my studio, the historic, “Back of the Yards” neighborhood of  Chicago’s south side.

The old factory buildings where my work space is housed was constructed in the late 1800’s and was the hub of the manufacturing activity vividly described in the book, “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair written in 1905.  My studio is located in the remnants of that industrial period and its industrial history is richly evident in my work.  Many occurring themes in this genre of work that I am presently producing focus on themes related to man, industrialism, and nature.

The idea of need to produce and consume plays a vivid role in my work.  The harvest of industrialism, materialism with endless consumption sees the distant light of destruction in mankind according to my images.  Industrialism and destruction versus the idea of living harmoniously with nature is not evident in my work.

War and invasion are images that evolve from my industrial pictorial narratives.  The need to create and produce armament I argue is an extension of the endless need to consume and destroy.

My Casador series alludes to the idea that man still has the innate instinct to hunt, kill, and to manifest its dominion over nature.  In this early stage of the new millennium, the hunter, el casador has become, in  my visual interpretations but a mere manager of the few remaining wildlife that has endured the complete dominance of the natural landscape by man.  My work theorizes that shortly all the wild animals of the earth will go into hiding and man will have no options but to turn on himself.

Ricardo Santos Hernández