* 1971 Caracas (Venezuela), based in London
Renata shares her birthday with Picasso!
No wonder, her art is outstanding and unique. Artbust knows her well as we had featured her for 5 years. Renata Fernandez is an outstanding artists. Personally she - as every scorpio is difficult to approach although charming in the first place.
Just have a look at this charming oil painting above, her answer to 2005 London Bombings. It's an outstanding piece of art work. Sadly it has been hardly acknowledged (although Artbust was pushing for it; see press release).
Is her period of strong bacl and white paintingss, or charcoal drawings over?
Now she writes a pastel language, with shades of even pink and an lovely yellow. This developed in consequence of the 2005 drawing "Reconstruction of Rescued Girl" (below) and "I want to be" (also below), which bases on a photo taken in the Afghanistan war by a friend of ours." (artbust, Joe Bohne)
See a selection of the artists' favourite works here
In Fernandez' work the crucial factor is in her own words "the Power of Transformation", which starts with making use of any materials or ready-made images available, adapting her own skills in the process, to make tangible the "suggestions" of these materials or found images. Like her native culture, her work is one of forced integration, no planned transformation. It is the generous touch of the synchronicity and serendipity.
Born in Venezuela, of Spanish parents, Fernandez studied Fine Arts in the IUESAPAR, in Caracas.
For five years she had the opportunity to receive all-round art education, following in the then new school's holistic approach towards art and art education in general.
This first group or art students were lectured in post-modern philosophy and ethics, art history, opera, theatre and even anthropology. Fernandez considers these years the most important in her formal education.
At the same time, Fernandez studied Social Sciences and Media Studies in the UCAB, Caracas' Jesuit University. She managed to do some theatre and contemporary dance while learning about acting and set designing. Fernandez constantly talks about the need to understand other artistic languages, and this curiosity extends to other disciplines, far away from art itself.
Tropical Garden of Eden. ink, charcoal, acrylic, oil on plywood, varnish, artificial tree. 2005. 1.80 x 6 x 0.5 m
Renata Fernandez says she practices the strategy of need, a process of permanent adaptation, where 'style' doesn't seem to be relevant (as a style that would be recognisable as her permanent signature). In Fernandez there are constant preoccupations, such as the way she deal with materials and a certain visual code, certain elements and imaginary that keeps reappearing. By mixing up disparate elements or images, Fernandez seeks a unit of meaning, by way of producing an unique hermeneutic that would emerge from each piece.
Fernandez moved to London in 2003, after years of 'therapy' in the country side. That year she was awarded a solo show in the 198 Gallery.
Fernandez recycles and revisits ideas and generates derivative images from her own work. Sometimes a friend would pose for her and a new line of work emerges at the same time while the press still gives her some inspiration, such the London bombings drawing, of I Want to be, based on a photo of a soldier at the beginning of the Irak invasion.
Rejecting any other interpretation, Fernandez
frequently wonders that by taking images and materials by random
she is just responding to our shared, basic subjacent collective
Renata's STATEMENT #Artbust:
"My work is figurative. But the figure is an excuse, the chosen element (chosen by random) is to create formal problems. I assemble images from ready-made sources (papers, for instance) and work them until exhaustion. The same treatment is applied to any given material: textiles, timber, etc
I can say that one of my preoccupations is SEMIOTICS: by taking upon an given image, or material, and working them until exhaustion creating formal problems, I pretend to extract, or find out the reason why the image or material first caught my attention, and if such reason lies upon the underlying collective subconscious.
Usually such image or material becomes the subject of a series, effectively creating "islands" of subject matters in my work, that I visit or re-visit in time to time: the soldier, the Garden of Eden, the walk in the park, velvet, fences, etc. They comprise my ever growing imaginary, and sometimes mixed together creating a complete new subject.
The viewer might think that there is a narrative intention in my work just because I make use of the figure. My approach actually is quite detached, and more often than not I care little about the possible personal emotional content of a work. My objective is to generate the right circumstances to encourage the viewer's own interpretations. Given the opportunity, I would rather ask questions to the viewer regarding my work rather than answer. In this process of apparent deception, tittles are often long and incongruous. Above all, I reject any further interpretation.
At the end, in my work what matters
is the power of transformation, THE MAKING, during which I adapt
my own skills in the process, to make tangible the "suggestions"
made to me by images and materials (where would they take me?).
This process of apparent "exhaustion" of the subject
matter is one of forced integration, no planned transformation,
hence each work's own hermeneutic. I must add the importance
of the generous touch of synchronicity and serendipity. Although
my work is "organised" in series, each phase (object)
would ideally stand on its own, both conceptually and as an object."
"What I have been doing
lately is trying to find a common ground between the different
disciplines I am expressing myself: drawing, painting and sculpture.
(photo by Renata Fernandez from her exhibition in May 2009. "Convent Sant Agusti" Barcelona, Spain)