Carlos Hernandez’s Day of the Dead Rock Stars’ series turns 5 this year with a new batch of deceased musicians memorialized in Day of the Dead-style screen prints. This year’s is a particularly sentimental bunch thanks to “El MCA,” honoring the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, who died of cancer in May at age 47. “I always think about it, man ... should I do an MCA painting? The guy just died,” Hernandez says. “I suppose some people will think, ‘He’s just trying to make quick buck,’ but MCA really did impact me. The Beastie Boys were great. This painting is my way of paying tribute.”
Also included in this year’s group is “El Elliott Smith,” which surrounds the late singer-songwriter with the red, white and blue ribbons from a Los Angeles mural that appeared on his “Figure 8” album cover.
Continuing a design direction from last year, Hernandez’s designs this year look to be a little less skeletal than in the early years. “El Warren Zevon” represents the iconoclastic singer-songwriter/pianist with a denim jacket bearing titles of several of his best-known songs. “La Etta James” is the only one that features the performer’s actual face, a striking pixilated red, black and white image.
“This time I wanted them all to be very uniform looking,” Hernandez says. “So we have the same color palette through the series: lots of blacks, yellows and reds.”
Selena, Elvis Presley, Tupac Shakur, Brian Jones and Ron Asheton round out the subjects for this year’s series. The nine pieces will be a mix of original canvases and screen prints.
And in related news, Saint Arnold Brewery will be sponsoring a new screen-printing class next spring at Rice University, which will be taught by Hernandez.
Day of the Dead Rock Stars
Opening reception with music by Something Fierce
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cactus Music, 2110 Portsmouth; Free