What is it like to go to the Florence Biennale as an artist from Laguna Canyon and return as a medal winner? For Nick Hernandez, it was a magical event that propelled him from having a local reputation to holding a prestigious position in the art world. The reason? Out of 890 artists who exhibited at the Biennale, Hernandez captured a Lorenzo il Magnifico de Medici medal for sculpture.
Hernandez was selected in 2004 as one of three artists for the United States Pavilion for 2005, by an international jury that included the art critic Barbara Rose and Dr. Julian Zugazagoltia, the Director of El Museo del Barrio of New York City. No less important is that Florence is one of the most enchanting and art historical cities in the world. For over a year, Hernandez devoted himself to the preparation of three required pieces of art. In his case, he created three handsome sculptures, in different styles, a rather gutsy thing to do in such an arena. With fabrication and shipping, getting the sculptures to Italy was a major physical and financial task. Then in Florence, Hernandez unpacked his art, set it up in the space he was given, and realized that he was no longer only a Laguna Beach or a California artist, but that his work represented art from the USA.