Fausto Fernandez makes art that both mirrors and explores relationships in life. Everyday objects, such as tools or flowers, or diagrammatic sources, including sewing patterns, are used to investigate how individuals relate to one another, or develop complex routines and rituals for daily living.
Fernandez layers these identifiable subjects with abstract elements in dense arrangements, resulting in large compositions that serve as metaphors for human interaction. Fernandez’s messages are not always readily apparent to the viewer, but his underlying concepts serve as the roadmap to drive the art in a number of different, yet related, directions.
The surfaces of Fernandez’s works are built up in layers of paint, collage, and drawing materials. In this process, he melds gestural brushwork and intuitive mark-making with fragments of realism, including the human face and form. Strong lines and geometric shapes anchor the free-floating elements, which Fernandez masterly weaves together.
Occasionally, a photographic portrait surfaces, and recently, a series of faceless portraits obscure the identities of the subjects. Like many artists of his generation, Fernandez borrows freely from the art of the past, in both his approach and his imagery, and, as a result, his work takes a multiplicity of forms.
In college Fernandez studied graphic design along with painting, and his skills as a designer bare a strong imprint on his paintings and collages. Again, like his contemporaries, he moves comfortably between the worlds of the fine and applied arts, rejecting the traditional hierarchies that influenced many artists of previous generations. In recent years, Fernandez pushed his work even further in creating large public projects.
-René Paul Barrilleaux
McNay Art Museum