“If bees are not allowed to pollinate, humanity would perish. If artists are not allowed to pollinate culture, humanity would perish too.” – G.A.
Hexagons is a multidisciplinary art project founded in 2017 by Gema Álava (gemaalava.com) which includes paintings, photographs, a cultural platform and blog (hexagonsglobal.com). Hexagons also promotes publications, interactive lectures, music, courses and exhibitions with the support of sponsors and professionals globally.
“Many artists live under the same threat as bees. Bees are generous and intelligent with a great sense of ethics but when exploited and poisoned with insecticides they get sick and abandon their beehives. When artists, scientists and bees are not allowed to pollinate –due to ignorance, lack of attention or premeditation– their panels and nectar of knowledge fall to the floor. Einstein predicted that without bees, without pollination, there would be no flowers, fruits or humanity since resources that are not sustainable become obsolete. Our future, and that of our children, requires that we learn to walk in between hexagons.” – G.A.
“In Gema Alava’s latest work, the message, subversive in these troubled times, is that we do not need more borders or walls to divide us, we need something akin to a global commons, a place where artists and others can inspire and be inspired. In her installations, gold leaf hexagons, initially placed on the floor where people can walk around them, stomp on them or do whatever they please with them, represent the apparent frailty but ultimately the fundamental strength of any artist who, to realize his or her vision, must persevere in the face of sometimes overwhelming adversity.
In this struggle to be heard, perseverance helps but even more important to the work of an artist are the conversations and the inspiration that can be had through the free exchange of ideas. Artists, in short, need to mingle and to constantly challenge their own points of view.
My grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, once said that Paris was the perfect place to write, and I agree, not only because of the illustrious company that he kept from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Joyce to Pablo Picasso, but also because of the mentors that he had. Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein helped him to publish his short stories but also challenged his worldview and exposed him to the ideas and the work of the avant-garde in both literature and in art.
Just like Gertrude Stein, Gema Álava in her own way is bringing together the artists of this century, not just in one city but on a global level. Travelling back and forth to Europe and South America and throughout the United States she is creating her own network of creative souls. One that I fervently hope will someday rival in importance the literary and artistic salons of her Parisian predecessors.”
—John Hemingway, writer
Hexágonos es un camino. Es un proyecto artístico multidisciplinario fundado por Gema Álava, y una plataforma cultural que busca expandirse a través de publicaciones, charlas interactivas, mu’sica, cursos y exposiciones con el apoyo y la participación de profesionales a nivel global.
The inspiration for HEXAGONS: POLLINATE CULTURE was the trilogy of projects TELL ME – FIND ME – TRUST ME developed from 2008 to 2010 by Álava with the participation and mentorship of American artist Robert Ryman who made a painting to be part of one of Alava’s projects. Following Ryman’s instructions, his painting remains hidden in the secret location chosen by him: “an art school.” The broad meaning of “art school” is what inspired Gema Álava to found a global artistic platform that continues transmitting the lessons learned directly from Master artists.
In 2019, Ryman passed away at the age of 88. In his honor, Álava wrote the essay “The Light of Robert Ryman”. In 2020 Alava published the book “How to Not be Afraid in a Museum” (Ed. El Ojo de la Cultura) then the Coronavirus pandemic hit. In 2021 Alava was able to travel again and place more hexagons in places that are filled with inspiration.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
In her installations, gold leaf hexagons initially placed on the floor where people can walk around them, stomp on them or do whatever they please with them, represent the apparent frailty but ultimately the fundamental strength of any artist who, to realize his or her vision, must persevere in the face of sometimes overwhelming adversity.John Hemingway
Álava’s brilliantly conceived projects evoke matters of trust in art, which inevitably demands a moral gloss.Jonathan Goodman
Gema Álava’s work carries an uncanny power whose source lies precisely in how lightly she offers it.Ted Mooney
In Gema Álava’s latest work the message, subversive in these troubled times, is that we do not need more borders or walls to divide us, we need something akin to a global commons, a place where artists and others can inspire and be inspired.John Hemingway