PaintingPermanent Collection

Hernan Bas

Hernan Bas

Ghosts of You, 2001

water based oil on paper

11 in. x 8 1/2 in.

Hernan Bas (born 1978 in Miami, Florida) is an artist based in Detroit, Michigan. Bas  creates the majority of his works based on boys on the threshold of sexual self-discovery. This recurrent theme is based on his own experience with his sexuality. Bas’ first encounter with art was at a very young age, attending an art magnet program, which led him into an art school from the seventh grade up until graduation. His first solo exhibition, It’s Super Natural, took place in 2002 at MOCA North Miami.


Ghost of You is part of the It’s Super Natural solo show by Hernan Bas. A fusion of flashlight tag, Hardy Boys’ whodunit, and coming-of-age fears or anxieties from a young gay man’s perspective; this artwork portraits a boy deep in the woods at night. The boy is surrounded by several creatures that reflect ghost and demons of a past individual. This dandyist work doesn’t directly present the theme of sexuality, but it could be assumed that the artist’s ghosts are symbols of a past lover, or a love that was not corresponded.


 In the top left corner, we can appreciate the background of the painting. The background consists of a moon shining behind a line of dead trees. On the foreground we can see the main subject (the boy) surrounded by nine different ghosts, all of them with different faces and expressions. Some examples of the faces are: a cat with long fangs, a face with horns, and two eyes without a mouth. The boy located in the top right corner of the painting is wearing a red sweater and has a confused look on his face.