Past Exhibition: October 4, 2019 — October 26, 2019
Useless Systems is the second collaboration between Harrington and Hernandez. Their first colab exhibit, Impossible to Tell, debuted in December 2014 at grayDUCK Gallery in Austin, TX. Additionally, the creative duo make up half of the curatorial collective, Los Outsiders, which also includes Austin artists Michael Anthony Garcia and Jaime Salvador Castillo.
Roberto Jackson Harrington is a multi-award winning artist who began his career in his hometown of El Paso, TX at the University of Texas at El Paso before receiving an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. Harrington works in sculpture and installation utilizing common everyday materials to create a tension that focuses on the concept of potential and toys with the possibilities for imagined outcomes. “In my work I try to establish false narratives through machine-like assemblage that makes the viewer contemplate the potential of my work. That process for me is far more exciting than any function I can actually make my work do, so for me the art resides in the viewers imagination.” Currently the director of the Museum of Pocket Art or MoPA, and a member of the Center for Experimental Practice, Harrington describes his path as an artist as nontraditional. “My life story and process have been different from others, so I was drawn to Presa House because their journey has been a little different as well and that made the connection all the more natural.”
Hector Hernandez is an Austin-based award winning mixed media photographer originally from Laredo, TX. In his most recent body of work Hernandez uses bold, brightly colored paper, fabric, and fabricated artifacts to create surreal and otherworldly compositions. Inspired by Christo and Jeanne Claude’s The Gates, Hernandez captures what he calls ‘hyperbeasts’– ambiguous creatures with no discernible gender and examines the figures’ movement and relationship with natural and staged environments. “What I am trying to do with my new work is to capture that one second in time when everything is perfect: the power of the body, the energy going through the fabric and the balance of light.” Hernandez has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Mexico and looks forward to his first time with Presa House. “I love what Presa House is doing for the San Antonio art scene. They have great programming that opens the doors to all kinds of artistic ideas.” Hernandez’ work was most recently included in the Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas exhibition, which was shown at UCR Arts and the Queens Museum, and was featured in both Art Forum and the New York Times.
Ruben Luna: Gacho Style
Ruben Luna is a self-taught artist and native of San Antonio, TX where he has worked as a museum art preparator for the past 20 years and is the current Art Installation Manager at the McNay Art Museum. Luna earned a BFA in Art History and Criticism from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2012. Inspired by the cultural ideals of bricolage, rasquache, jugaad, life hack, or the necessity to seek a simple work-around that at times requires one to bend the rules. The ability to be resourceful and make do is a common theme in Luna’s work. Each piece presents a new creative challenge of combining or juxtaposing everyday inexpensive, readily available objects into personal artworks that serve to pay tribute to a person or story in his life.