Stayin’ Positive started as a series of textile portraits investigating the identities of Latinx and other people of color living with HIV. The artist ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ used fabrics, patterns, motifs, colors, and imagery showcasing each person's cultural and social background to demonstrate how they navigate their POZ identities as a means of survival throughout their various communities. The show is aimed to dismantle the social stigmas of being positive, and it showcases a community who are survivors rather than victims. Originally planned for exhibition on May 29, 2020, as part of the Queer Cultural Festival in San Francisco, the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the exhibition indefinitely. Over the past several months after its original scheduled exhibition, Hernandez started to make edits to his pieces to reflect the POZ community's commitment to staying healthy during the pandemic. For the artist, his continued work on the artwork captured his method of staying healthy while stayin’ positive during these unsettling times. By adding magical animal limbs and other body parts, Hernandez transformed his subjects into bright and colorful chimeras. The artist modified and evolved each of the individual pieces and people in the series into fantastical, mythical creatures who are able to whimsically and confidently adapt and change during times of chaos.
ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ is a mixed media artist, whose art practice revolves primarily around textiles and found objects. He was born in Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca- Mexico, and raised in Grand Junction, CO. The artist currently lives in San Francisco, CA. He received his BFA (2007) in Painting and Drawing from Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in Denver, CO, and an MFA in Studio Art (2012) from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. The artist has participated in many notable art residencies, including MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA; San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA; Root Division in San Francisco, CA; Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC; Mark Rothko Art Center in Latvia; and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, among others. He will be participating in ACRE’s art residency for Summer 2021.