FACES Castillo de Chapultepec

Let me now turn to Mari Carmen Hernandez who is here with us tonight. Let me say at the outset that her collection of paintings wich bears the title FACES is, to my mind, really rather unique. The topic of portraits, wich she chose for this exhibit, is a « mystical invention », « a mandala to focus on to find oneself through the eyes of the other » -- as Franco Maris Ricci put in his book on Mari Carmen’s Faces. I am pretty impressed by the way she manages to bring out the spirit behind the façade. But is the human face simple a façade ? I remember what the philosopher Ludwing Wittgenstein said on this respect : « The human face is the best picture of the human soul. » Indeed it is. There is no spirit behind a human face ; rather, the spirit, whatever its nature turns out to be, is revealed in teh human expression that one can call letterally see in any of Mari Carmen Hernandez.

Thus, if we beleive that, as Leonardo Da Vinci seems ta have thought, the good painter must paint two things : man and ideas of the human spirit, I must say that Mari Carmen Hernandez has come a log way. We tend to speak so freely about the mind an dits contents, and we seem to take for granted that there must be a clear cut distinction between mind and body, but once we are asked what this putative distinction is, what it amounts to, we’re stopped in our tracks. From a philosophical point of view, therefore, these are deep waters and, fortunaley, there is no need for us tonight to immerse ourselves in them. Instead, let me invite you to admire and judge for your selves the work of Mari Carmen Hernandez. Also, you ;ll have a chance to see and admire the book that Franco Maria Ricci editor has produced on Mari carmen’s FACES.

I thank you all for being here wit us tonight. Muchas Gracias.

Alvaro Rodriguez Tirado • Washington may 1996