Part 2 Gallery is proud to present Provisions, an exhibition of paintings from Oakland-based artists Liz Hernández and Ryan Whelan. The show is a meditation on the transformative experience of food, and the married duo examines the disruptive power of providing for those you love, to slow down a busy life and make a meal. Integral to that examination are the places that give us provisions. Hernández and Whelan consider the unexamined journey of our food, with landmarks like roadside signs and market stalls, fields and baskets, on its way to the kitchen. The humble food object is the land, the sun, the farmer, the field, the market, the knife, and the plate; it contains the potential to love, to grow, and to transform.
Hernández depicts the markets of her hometown of Mexico City, where the pink canopies cast a rosy glow over vendors’ goods, often cut into sculptural objects for display. She describes stepping into the market, within a bustling city and yet so far removed that it becomes a self-contained world, a privilege to those who exist in that space. Oasis-like, Hernández’s market offers a shift in perspective, where food is an expression of artistry.
Whelan’s work considers the primary role of the land and those who work it. The physical source of our transformative experiences with food, is the place it comes from. Whelan takes particular interest in roadside signs, which, in his interpretation, offer the sensory experience of seasonal produce in color, shape, word, and image. Whelan further examines the agricultural landscape’s limitless possibilities, which are transformed at the will of farmers.
Ryan Whelan (b. 1991) was raised in Torrance, California. He moved to San Francisco in 2009 to study printmaking at San Francisco State University. In 2011, Ryan relocated across the bay to live and work in Oakland. Now 27 years old, Ryan applies the work ethic and process-driven mentality of printmaking to his paintings. He strives to present contradiction in his work no matter the subject; ordinary yet magical, simple but complex, and perfectly imperfect.
Liz Hernández (b. 1993) is an artist from Mexico City, now based in Oakland, CA, who works primarily with topics related to her identity. She relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area In 2011 to study design, only to find out that her true interest lay within the narratives we place on the objects of our everyday life. She is continually concerned with the distance immigration takes us from where we were born, but also from the person we were while living there.