We are pleased to share the artwork of Manny Hernandez on a limited edition t-shirt in celebration of the Association for Public Art’s 150th anniversary. Hernandez is a Philadelphia artist and art director, with roots in Peru and Puerto Rico, whose work embodies a contemporary approach while also expressing a retro sensibility.

Hernandez’s collaged designs for aPA evoke dimensionality and space, explore the fragmentation of forms, and celebrate a pastiche of the urban environment. In commissioning Hernandez, aPA was inspired by artist Barbara Kruger whose 1985 artwork, Untitled (When I hear the word culture I take out my checkbook), was first featured on a t-shirt given to attendees as part of our organization’s Public Art in America ’87 conference held in Philadelphia. (A re-issued 2022 limited edition version is currently available in the aPA store.) While Kruger focuses on the layering of clearly identifiable images and language, Hernandez layers textures, forms, and colors in his composed designs.

Hernandez writes, “In the digital era, I enjoy working with my hands and maintain a high value on the tangible aspects of art. Collage allows me to do this purposefully. Feeling and creating new textures by blending and layering printed paper, old sports magazines, inspirational printed type, spray paint, and builders tape, allows me the freedom to explore space and movement in an organic way.”

Manny Hernandez, a Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) graduate, was recently featured as one of twelve artists who were invited to participate in Visit Philly’s Love + Grit project which asked artists to create art for high-traffic empty storefront windows, supporting Black-and Brown-owned businesses in Philadelphia. In addition to art and illustration work, his studio practice spans from branding and identity design, to book and poster design. He has created work for organizations including National Geographic, The Washington Informer, Citizens Bank, Brown University, and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), among others.

The aPA has a tradition of supporting emerging artists by advancing opportunities for their work. We are also committed to engaging diverse artists who are responding to the conditions of our time through their artistic expression.