Yasmin and her son Josef with her mural "El Regalo de los Reyes", San Sebastián, Puerto Rico, 2017. Photo by Natasha Bannan
Brooklyn-born and raised, Yasmin Hernandez’ art navigates notions of motherland/ otherland. Exploring the abyss spread in between, she channels ancestral wisdom to raise repressed liberatory narratives. Yasmin attended the LaGuardia High School of the Arts in Manhattan and holds a BFA in Painting from Cornell University. As a teaching artist she worked with Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia, El Museo del Barrio, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and has taught art to Pre K-12th grade students in Aguadilla. A series of research trips to Vieques sparked her fascination with bioluminescence and the cosmos and inspired her 2014 rematriation to her ancestral motherland of Borikén. Arriving to the odious debt crisis, oversight board and austerity, in 2017 she was invited to exhibit in the “Puerto Rico Bundle” of Occupy Museums’ Debt Fair installation at The Whitney Biennial. Months later she and her family endured twin hurricanes Irma and María and their aftermath. Images of Soldaderas, her East Harlem mural honoring Julia de Burgos, Frida Kahlo and Puerto Rican/ Mexican solidarity, were circulated as part of various hurricane/ earthquake relief efforts. Her account was published by Hyperallergic as “An Artist’s Powerful Letter in Post Hurricane Puerto Rico." Living through four months without electricity, the fireflies of those dark nights reignited her interest in bioluminescence. Recent projects CucubaNación and Rematriating Borikén take lessons from Puerto Rican bioluminescence to envision sustainable strategies for transcending climate change and colonialism. Yasmin shares her work at yasminhernandezart.com and rematriatingboriken.com.