Untitled (Fragile Moments)

Hernan Bas
2003
Boca Raton Museum of Art

This diptych of four young men in shark costumes at the beach are film stills from a two-screen video projection Hernan Bas created entitled Fragile Moments. The video, also in black and white, is just over seven minutes long and shows these shark-costumed young men swimming in a circle as if surrounding their prey or an empty ocean and another of a miniature model of a ship that appears to be a kite flying. The title therefore references the fragility of animal and human life in the food chain against the frailty of a kite in a strong wind or more simply a group of collegial young men with Peter-Pan Syndrome at the play of adolescents. Created when he was in his mid-20s, the imagery of the beach is a direct result of living in Northern Florida and Miami and also attending school at the New World School of Arts.

Bas uses painting, sculpture, video, drawing, etching, and photography to depict a fantasy world that alternately threatens and enchants, and is often on a grand scale with a dark narrative and open landscape. For inspiration he looks to varied sources as poetry from the 1800s, saints, spiritualist movements, paranormal television and even the American daytime soap opera, “Passions” which was full of supernatural characters; in a sense he is a neo-romantic artist. He credits his intense curiosity and desire to quench it as to what drives him to such seemingly disparate sources.

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Hernan Bas' Untitled (Fragile Moments)

Hernan Bas, Untitled (Fragile Moments), 2003, Gelatin silver print, diptych. Acquired in 2013; Gift of Dr. Carl and Shirley Schwartz.