Calcoon born mixed media creator on his friends, his art and Garpata
Dreame Diaries speaks to Dex Fernandez, the Caloocan born mixed-media artist whose bold art is flavored with the intricate spices of religion, stickers and most of all, the life of a Filipino in Diaspora.
What are you working on right now? I am currently residing in New York City, completing my 6 months artist-in-residency. I am working on my project on street art and a mixed media project for my upcoming solo exhibition at Owen James Gallery in Greenpoint Brooklyn.
How do you find the images in your pieces? Through my experiences that I then translate into artistic approach.
Walk us through your process for creating. I hang around with my artistic friends, collecting inspiration from our chats. I also collect images from experiences and I always keep these visuals mind. When I face my canvas everything is spontaneous until I feel contented.
How does the artist community in Manila motivate and inspire your work? Through the energy that I get from them, I never stop working when I’m there and they always inspire me to do my stuff.
How does religion play into your art? Religion is like a spice in my art. Sometimes tasteful sometimes not.
Who are the humans we see in your pieces? Garapata* represents us.
How do you spend your free time?I spend my free time with friends. If I’m too lazy to go out, I just stay at home listening to music or watching movies.
What things can you not live without? Stickers.
If you could make art anywhere else in the world where would it be and why? I think it’s happening now in NYC.
Colombian artist on audiovisual creations, muralism & living forever on the move
Upon arriving in Buenos Aires (after traveling by foot from Medellin), the 26-year-old Colombian born artist found a community where she could hone her profession as an audiovisual communicator and a self-taught muralist and illustrator. After three years, Ruiz begins her journey around Latin America to create rolling cinema alongside residents living in the countrysides. With three projects and an unquenchable spirit, Juliana Ruiz is leaving her print on the Latin American art world.
Describe Cinema Nomada (Nomad Cinema):
During my second year of University, I was taking a class called History of Latin American cinema class. My teacher mentioned ‘Cine móvil’ (Mobile cinema.) It was a technique created by Octavio Cortázar, a cuban filmmaker during the revolution to show his movie in rural areas that don’t have movie theaters. I wanted to create my own rolling cinema. I began by visiting the town where I grew up, El Peñol, Antioquia. For six months I showed Colombian movies in a little school in the rural area of El Peñol. While I was there I started an audiovisual workshop and by the end of the workshop, the participants had made their own short film ‘Paseo a la represa.’
Once I returned to Buenos Aires, I couldn’t find a full time job, so I spent my time delving into my rolling cinema project, Cinema Nómada. I presented it last January to the mayor of Colón, Panamá and it was approved. I’ll be rolling with Cinema Nómada next summer in Colón. The final plan for the project includes showing movies while incorporating workshops in filmmaking, muralism and art using all recycled materials.
What is your process for creating?
I make a lot of lists, notebooks full of thoughts. At night, when I am at my most creative, I sit down, play music and start to review my notebooks. What comes is pure randomness, so I sit down and take a look into what other artists are creating and it gives me a motivational rush.
Describe the inspiration behind your project, La Huella Del Caminar (The Footprint of the Walker)?
The idea was born during my journey from Colombia to Argentina. I saw a lot of street art in Quito and Cusco. Many of the pieces were made by people from other countries. It was amazing to see how travelers were leaving their print. It was this beautiful intercultural exchange that inspired the idea to show my own experience and share it with others who have a similar vision. I wanted to spread my creations amongst muralists, travelers and locals alike, to learn from others and find commonalities that gather us as humans and move beyond borders or beliefs. Usually I am more involved in the artistic aspect, but for this project I am using my studies in Communication and Cultural Creation to develop and plan the project: budget, social media and artist coordination.
How do you think traveling and art correlate, why is movement so important for the artist?
The day I discovered I wanted to work globally and not settle in one place, I started to think of ways to merge the ‘nomadic’ lifestyle with my desire to share what I’ve learned and to learn from others. Projects like Cinema Nomada and La Huella Del Caminar are the beginnings of my journey.
What is your favorite medium of art and why?
Illustration comes most naturally for me, but I definitely merge all styles. I begin my murals with a drawing and then I add color and design to my outline. My main incentive right now is to create a film that includes all stages of mural making. We are trying to spread our artwork across all mediums – to extend the message that dreams don’t just manifest out of nothing, they need to be worked on and built everyday.
Please tell us more about your project JUGO.
JUGO is a creative laboratory I started with three of my friends: Manuela Monselva is a muralist, PickaBel is a graphic designer and an amazing visual artist and Laura Gamboa is a marvelous photographer. We are the base of JUGO, but there are others who help us with greater tasks. We are painting the walls of hostels, bars and restaurants around Buenos Aires while involving kids and teens in lows-income neighborhoods.
What is your first memory of creating art?
Kindergarden! The teachers gave us huge sheets of paper. We had to walk, dance and jump on the paper with our feet full of paint. Come to think of it, I think this is was the inspiration for The Footprint of the Walker.
Surreal artwork based on Lena’s dream from her memoir ‘Not That Kind of Girl.’
My most frequently recurring dream is one in which I suddenly remember I have a number of pets living in my home that I haven’t tended to in years. Rabbits, hamsters, iguanas, stacked in dirty cages in my closet beneath the bed. Terrified, I open the door, and the light touches them for the first time in ages. Desperate I dig through the clumped, wet, wood chips. I’m afraid they’re decomposing in there, but I find them still alive, thin and milky eyed and filthy. I know that I loved them once, that they had a better life before I got so distracted with work and myself and let them shrivel up and nearly die. ‘I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, ‘ I tell them as I clean their cages and fill their bottles with fresh water. ‘How can I make it up to you?’
Rabbits, hamsters, iguanas, stacked in dirty cages in my closet beneath the bed.