Ester Hernández (born 1944) is a Chicana visual artist.
- I’ve heard everything from people who wanted to kill me, to people who have thought that I changed their lives. I had given them something to live for, some hope in terms of their own sense of religion, iconography. I have always been taught that I am God, that God is inside of me. So in that way, the Virgin is inside of me. I think my notion of transforming the Virgin is sort of like that–that is me, I am the Virgin. We are all gods, we are all goddesses. The light is not just in heaven, but its on earth. And we are living it…
- On using the Virgin de Guadalupe as the central figure in her piece La Virgin Defendiendo Los Derechos Humanos Latinopia (2010 Mar 6)
- I was not brought up with the notion that I was an individual, but with the idea that I was part of a family and community. That was a big responsibility, but it gave me support. I never really felt alone, because everything I did to contribute to my family was well-received and respected. I felt that I had a responsibility. That has really affected my life.
- On how her upbringing has influenced her work in “Interview With Ester Hernandez - Conducted Thursday, Aug 9, 2001. Café Macondo, San Francisco, CA”
- I’m really interested in people who are doing things that are a little off, or who are creating new lives for themselves. I’m interested in the role of latinas, not only within our families and communities, but within the broader picture. I’m constantly inspired by people. Whether it’s the woman on the corner selling flowers, or Astrid Hadaad. Lydia Mendoza, people who are just way out there. I look for them and they constantly inspire me to give form to their spirits.
- I don’t look to the outside. I’ve got so much inside of me that I need to say and do that I don’t really care what people think. If I did, I would have never done anything. Because there have always been walls around me of one kind or another, I really don’t think from the outside-in. If it’s inside of me, and I need to give form to it, I’m gonna do it and I don’t really don’t care if it will open or close doors.
- On choosing to create regardless of the consequences in “Interview With Ester Hernandez - Conducted Thursday, Aug 9, 2001. Café Macondo, San Francisco, CA”