ANTONI HERVÁS “The Awakening”

12th May 2023, 12:00 am

Date(s) - 12th May 2023 - 4th Jun 2023
All Day

Human Resources








Opening Reception: Friday, 12th May, 6-10p

Gallery hours: Wednesday – Sunday, Noon-6p




The Awakening is a project by Barcelona-based artist Antoni Hervás, curated by Clara López Menéndez. The exhibition will be accompanied by a three month-long residency at Tom of Finland Foundation (April-June).

The Awakening departs from Hervás’ initiative to come to Los Angeles in Spring 2022 to research the beginnings of what is called “leather culture.” Interested in the murky origins of these aesthetics and performative codes of Queer/Gay life, Hervás wanted to look into the origins of this community in Southern California. Especially how the drawings and life of Tom of Finland intersected in the dissemination of this aesthetic worldwide. Hervás looked into the places where Tom found his earliest inspiration and how, through Tom’s fantasy, this nowadays widely expanded gender identity and set of practices came to be. Hervás is particularly curious about how the specific forms of this subculture emerged, becoming recognizable codes for those who knew how to see them, while hiding in plain sight by taking from widely spread popular culture tropes––the cowboy, the motorcycle gang, the various men in uniform––and utilizing an exalted form of high masculinity as drag and cover.

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In addition Hervás also dove into Los Angeles’s contemporary underground Queer culture, interested in putting together the less recorded inspirational wells of this history: the laidback working class clandestine Gay clubs were men of all social and racialized backgrounds meet to find each other on the dancefloor and forget the rigid social strictures that demand heteronormative performances of them––at their jobs, in the street, with their families. These spaces represent for Hervás the heterogenous fertile grounds that inspired artists like Tom of Finland, who then crystalized in their drawings a more whitewashed vision of these opaque origins. For Hervás, this whitewashing obscures how in the club lines get blurred and difference dances in joy instead of splitting apart.

The club is a fundamental space for Gay life and culture, one that is currently endangered by real estate speculation and the changes in habits catalyzed by the use of cruising apps. The show’s work is therefore partially a celebration of Gay clubs and bars as a needed refuge and crucial space for Queer becoming’s.


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31st May |Doors at 9p, screening starts at 9:20p

Curator Clara López Menéndez has selected the 1972 film Bijou
to screen inside Antoni Hervás’ immersive installation.


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Hervás will release a new gay science fiction comic book, adapted from research material
found in the Tom of Finland Foundation Archives. Stop by on Sunday the 4th to pick up a copy.


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Antoni Hervás in conversation with Durk Dehner | 4th June | 3p


The Awakening is curated by Clara López Menéndez
and is accompanied by Hervás’ three month-long residency at TOM House.
The show has been realized with the inestimable help and advice of Valeria Tizol Vivas.

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Hervás, Dehner, Menéndez


Memorialize: arts calendar 25th-31st May

      Artists of all concerns memorialize and celebrate the things in life that bring them joy, life, and irrational exuberance—from paintings with soulful sweetness to the immersive energy of dance floor culture, paying creativity forward, lighting up the dark places, making it work against all odds, the sustaining power of natural elements, the… View Article

Rise and shine

      Attention art lovers: incoming Tom of Finland Foundation artist-in-residence Antoni Hervás has a new exhibition of work opening at Human Resources in Los Angeles. Hitting the ground running, Toni has been working for weeks to prepare for the installation of his show entitled The Awakening. Please join Toni and curator Clara López… View Article

Meet Antoni Hervàs, artist-in-residence

    “My research focuses on how, out of the margins of society we find a way of creating community.” – Antoni Hervàs Antoni Hervàs studied fine arts at the Universitat de Barcelona (2006) and engraving and printing at the Escola Llotja. His solo exhibitions include The Awakening, at Human Resources, Los Angeles (2023) and… View Article

Published: 12th May 2023

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