THE OUTLAW CLOTHESLINE- in memory of my brother Joseph
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Outlaw, 2010

Outlaw, 2010

Outlaw series, Mixed media on watercolor paper, 18" x 12". For this work I scanned the only bandana of my brother's that I was able to find and keep. Layered above it is an image of my brother dressed as an outlaw, alongside an excerpt from my poem "Brooklyn Bred Borica": Boricua outlaw brothers in leather and chains Taken off their bodies and minds/ Turned into weapons of self defense/ Rockin' punk patches patria banderas and bandanas on their foreheads and back pockets.

detail, Outlaw, 2010

detail, Outlaw, 2010

Calligrapy detail

Outlaw Remix, 2014

Outlaw Remix, 2014

Mixed media on cotton bandana 20" x 20". When I started the bandana series in 2014, I decided to repurpose some of the works on paper. This is outlaw recreated on a cotton banana.

Fuck Cancer, 2010

Fuck Cancer, 2010

Acrylic on cotton bandana 20" x 20". This was the first bandana that I painted on directly & that inspired the Outlaw Clothesline series. I call this the holy shroud of my bandanas as it was an emotional process for me to paint my brother's portrait, bringing his image back to life after his passing. Fuck Cancer was his mantra that he would turn into graffiti signs for his room at the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Sloan Kettering Hospital. I copied one of the signs onto this image.

Renegade, 2014

Renegade, 2014

Renegade, Acrylic and ink on cotton bandana, 20" x 20" CJ/ CIC (Crazy Joe/ Crazy Insane Cousins) A renegade of this time and age. Excerpt "Renegades of Funk" by Afrika Bambataa: Renegades are the people/ With their own philosophy/ They change the course of history/ Everyday people like you and me

detail, Outlaw Clothesline, 2014

detail, Outlaw Clothesline, 2014

9 mixed media paintings on cotton bandanas, 20" x 20" each, chrome chain, clothespins.

detail, Outline Clothesline, 2014

detail, Outline Clothesline, 2014

9 mixed media paintings on cotton bandanas, 20" x 20" each, chrome chain, clothespins.

detail, Outlaw Clothesline, 2010

detail, Outlaw Clothesline, 2010

9 mixed media paintings on cotton bandanas, 20" x 20" each, chrome chain, clothespins.

Prophet, 2011

Prophet, 2011

Outlaw series, Mixed media on paper, 18" x 12". Portrait of my brother as a young boy in Puerto Rico alongside a biblical verse found in a prayer book of his. It describes the selfless life he led. (The Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor and afflicted. He has sent me to bind up and heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound. Rom 10:15.

Prophet Remix, 2014

Prophet Remix, 2014

Prophet remix, Mixed media on cotton bandana, 20" x 20" . Portrait of my brother as a young boy in Puerto Rico alongside a biblical verse found in a prayer book of his. It describes the selfless life he led. (The Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor and afflicted. He has sent me to bind up and heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound. Rom 10:15.

...Like a Jungle Sometimes, 2014

...Like a Jungle Sometimes, 2014

Ink and acrylic on cotton bandana, 20" x 20". Lyrics from "The Message," Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five: "Don't push me cuz I'm close to the edge/ I'm trying not to lose my head/ It's like a jungle sometimes/ It makes me wonder/ How I keep from going under"

detail,Like a Jungle Sometimes, 2014

detail,Like a Jungle Sometimes, 2014

Ink and acrylic on cotton bandana. Lyrics from "The Message," Grand master Flash and the Furious Five: "Don't push me cuz I'm close to the edge/ I'm trying not to lose my head/ It's like a jungle sometimes/ It makes me wonder/ How I keep from going under"

Street Life, 2014

Street Life, 2014

Outlaw Clothesline series. Ink on cotton bandana, 20" x 20". Lyrics by Joe Sample & Will Jennings for the song of the same title. This bandana marks my brother's coming of age in the streets of Park Slope, Coney Island and East New York Brooklyn. (Street Life/ You can run away from time/ Street Life/ for a nickel for a dime/ Street Life/ But you better not get old/ Street Life/ Or you're gonna feel the cold

Indestructible Remix, 2014

Indestructible Remix, 2014

Mixed media on paper 18" x 12". My brother took this photo of his hand with my son's hand when Gabriel was just 6 months old. My brother passed 6 months later, just after Gabriel's 1st birthday. I wrote the lyrics of Ray Barreto's "Indestructible" which sings that when beloved blood is lost, in new b"Indestructible" -Ray Barretto Cuando en la vida se sufre una herida Porque se pierde sangre querida en ese momento piensa que todo es posible que con la sangre nueva esta la fuerza indestructible

Indestructible, 2010

Indestructible, 2010

Mixed media on paper 18" x 12". My brother took this photo of his hand with my son's hand when Gabriel was just 6 months old. My brother passed 6 months later, just after Gabriel's 1st birthday. I wrote the lyrics of Ray Barreto's "Indestructible" which sings that when beloved blood is lost, in new blood lies indestructible strength.

detail, Play at Your Own Risk, 2014

detail, Play at Your Own Risk, 2014

Outlaw clothesline series. Mixed media on cotton bandana. 20" x 20" Tribute to my brother Joseph lost to cancer in 2010, featuring my poem "Forever big brother" and my self portrait with my brother. (I imagine you complete and present/ My forever big brother/ I cement in my head/ My superhero vision of you/ That I crafted as a little girl/ You stand eternal, invincible, strong in that vision/ As you once were/ As you are now As you will always be be)

Hear it Calling Me, 2014

Hear it Calling Me, 2014

Outlaw Clothesline Series, Mixed media on cotton bandana, 20" x 20". This tribute to my brother marks the moment of his passing, recalling how I played him the song "Babe I'm gonna leave you" by Led Zeppelin. With it I realized that he was informing me of his departure. He passed within a half hour. (Baby I'm gonna leave you...I ain't jokin' woman I've got to ramble...I can hear it calling me the way it used to do. I can hear it calling me back home.)

"I know, I know, I know I'm never never never gonna leave you babe.
But I gotta go away from this place."

-Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Led Zeppelin


The Outlaw Clothesline is an installation comprised of mixed media works on bandanas in memory of my brother Joseph Hernandez who ended his cancer battle in April of 2010. The bandanas piece together chapters of his life from beginning to end. Creating these works in the months leading up to the 4th anniversary of his passing was cathartic. As intimate tributes to my brother's life, they also double as tributes to the Brooklyn of our youth.  Saying goodbye to a conflicted yet idealized Brooklyn of our past, I created these while packing and purging material baggage, both mine and his. Two weeks after the anniversary I left our East New York, our Park Slope, our Brooklyn,  and moved to Puerto Rico.

A previous project, also dedicated to my brother, superimposed digital montages and calligraphy over the scanned image of one of his bandanas. The Outlaw Clothesline is a natural progression where the images and narratives come to life on actual bandanas. I had seen him use those bandanas, since my earliest memories of him dressed as an outlaw, to his work as a mason, to his final weeks battling through radiation and chemotherapy.  I first worked directly on a bandana in my 2011 piece "Fuck Cancer." Soon after the concept of a clothesline developed. Repurposing some of the concepts created on paper, I call the works on bandanas "remixes" tying them into the authentic hip hop that my brother adored. I combine the use of my fountain pen and calligraphy markers, with those from the black case of markers that he would carry back and forth from hospital stays to make inspirational "Fuck Cancer" signs for his room.  From highlights, to shadows, to lightning bolts and other embellishments created with his markers, I find his graf hand guiding mine.  My big brother is a phenomenal spirit that has influenced every single aspect of my life and in particular my art, of which he was the biggest supporter. My connection to him has only strengthened in spirit. I am ever grateful for his light.

THE OUTLAW CLOTHESLINE, VIDEO, 2014
This video is a memorial tribute to my brother Joseph who passed in 2010 from cancer. I debuted it on the 5th anniversary of his passing. It follows my creative process along with the memories and reflections that led to my 2014 art installation in his memory, The Outlaw Clothesline. Inspired by one of my brother's bandanas, this project is a series of 9 mixed media bandanas hung from a steel chain. Each bandana is inspired by a chapter in his life and a particular song pr poem that reminded me of him. Many of the images and some of the footage in the video are shot by my brother. I found these on his computer after he passed, along with some of the music tracks. The scenery travels from Park Slope to Coney Island and East New York Brooklyn where we grew up and ends in Moca, Puerto Rico where I now live and work. This art project was my final catharsis in saying goodbye to my brother's physical life and to the Brooklyn and New York of our youth, before having moved to Puerto Rico.

The evening leading up to my brother's passing, unable to speak we communicated through music. I have included much of the music that was the soundtrack to our relationship here. Art and music saved both our lives before his cancer battle and helped him transition out of this place. Big ups to all of the musicians who made our life together more special.
Soar in love, peace and light Sonny!
June 20-1966-April 27-2010.

The Outlaw Clothesline installation debuted as part of Fusion, a pop-up show organized by the West Harlem Arts Fund for Armory Arts week, March 2014.  In this interview with curator Savona Bailey McClain, I discuss the inspiration I received from my brother to create this piece.

© 2017-20 by Yasmin Hernandez. All rights reserved.  Moca, Puerto Rico. yasminhernandezart@gmail.com

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