Ghosts of You, 2001
Water based oil on board
11 x 8½ inches
Gift of Fredric and Kathy Snitzer
A young man finds himself haunted by ghosts in the woods under a full moon. While it may be unsettling for the viewer to see these spirits massed together, the painting’s subject appears unconcerned, even contemplative. The work’s title, Ghosts of You, implies that these are psychological apparitions, but the scene is unnerving and melancholic nonetheless.
Born in Miami and raised in Florida, Hernan Bas is one of Miami’s most internationally renowned artists. Ghosts of You appeared in Bas’s first solo museum exhibition, It’s Super Natural, at MOCA North Miami in 2002. For the exhibition, Bas created works inspired by The Hardy Boys books, a popular long-running series of adventure novels for young children in which teenage brothers Frank and Joe Hardy solve mysteries, sometimes assisted by their friends. Bas drew connections between these novels and the experience of being a young, gay man seeking connection and validation. To add to the sense of mystery, visitors to Bas’s solo show were issued flashlights so that they could see the works in the darkened gallery space. At the time of this exhibition, Bas commented that in the past, “Young gay boys had to develop a certain creative ingenuity when attempting to find images of same-sex affection. Today’s gay youth has a much easier time. As a result, the ‘art’ of creatively misinterpreting naïvely innocent representations of heterosexual comradeship is dying off. My latest work seeks to keep this art form alive.” In his work, Bas continues to gain inspiration from literary sources while exploring LGBTQIA+ issues, queer desire, the paranormal and the occult.
Listen to audio from Elizabeth Shannon, PhD.