Sunil Vilas exclusive interview’s Jake Fernandez American Contemporary artist
I am delighted to welcome Jake Fernandez Latin American born Contemporary artist, now living in New York, USA to celebrate his achievement in landscape art.., Jake we are honoured that you could join us in our VIP Creative Lounge for an exclusive interview
CELEBRATION OF LANDSCAPE ART – BY JAKE FERNANDEZ
Born in Havana, Cuba – Jake Fernandez is a professional fine artist painter of nature. His collection of works are captured in a variety of mediums from oil on wood panels; on canvas or linen, to pastel, to basic graphite pencil, black & white sketch drawings all in both small to large-scale. One would wonder how an urban artist captures the very essence of nature while living in the city. His observation of nature to be able to convey order from a tangle of vines and branches in the woodland, trees, shrubs and bushes or the movement and the sounds of rippling ponds to recreate a balance of altruism and vision is a measure of his mastery of creativity, control, discipline making these qualities as his own signature and style of landscape paintings.
2001 First listed in Who’s who American Art;
It is wonderful that today’s contemporary artists are able to visit actual location and sites created by old masters of the past to produce iconic images for their paintings. Jake’s journey had an amazing turnaround from a visit to Claude Monet’s secret garden (Water garden of Giverny), discovering the new dimension of viewing colours and technique for his landscape paintings. For this we need to understand the science of parallax of light. One would describe the experience for the observer standing in front of his landscapes painting being transported to another world beyond the painting.., as if a doorway opens to place of tranquillity, bliss and a path of peace within oneself..,
Sunil – Welcome Jake!! Every story has a beginning and an ending… We want to go back to when the whole journey started…, What is the first thing that you remember painting?
Jake – Sunil It’s my pleasure to be here.., thank you for this opportunity.., Interestingly my first work of art was a pencil drawing I was 8 years old but my first painting was done from a paint-by-number kit of a street scene in Paris. The first “original” oil painting was my version of a landscape from a how-to book. I was 9 years old. Music was my first love but I discovered I had more facility in the visual arts.
Sunil – For the benefit of your admirers and newer members of your Art who would like to know.., When did you first realize you were an artist?
Jake – Funny Sunil actually I realized I was an artist the moment I was aware it was an occupation. My parents supported my interest in art. I had a tutor at an early age. I studied under the noted Cuban landscape painter Felix Ramos. He was the son of Domingo Ramos’ a well-known Latin American mid 20th century painter. Felix was a kind taskmaster and had technical knowledge and classical training. I painted numerous simple still life’ paintings and made countless drawings from plaster casts sculptures. As a young kid I was not allowed to participate in live figure drawing classes because of the nudity. Go figure! (pun intended) .
Sunil – If that was the case I would be sitting here introducing you as Internationally acclaimed figurative artist, perhaps this could be a new direction for Jake as you are already considering portraiture art?.., .Very interesting that you have triangular influences in your work as an artist’s from European culture, to United States where you spend most of your adult life to your birth place in Latin America that makes you truly an International artist. It lovely how we can trace this link and fellow your progress by sharing your childhood memories that also played a role in the development of your own unique style and technique.
Sunil – We all have our own interpretation of looking at artists’ work but how would you describe your art to someone who has never seen your work?
Jake – Somewhere between realism and abstraction random yet controlled. Labour intensive, protracted, multi-layered, multi perception, resembling a Rorschach Test in its ambiguity and perceived interpretation, Cartesian yet “retinal” by Duchamp’s definition. At times tongue-in-cheek, but always fuelled by love. In other word you have to see it.
4. Sunil – your career of being a professional artist’s span the last thirty years this would mean you have a number of collectors and buyers of your work from private to corporate would you like to share by giving us examples?
Jake – Yes! Sunil a modest list, my works in private collection of the Florida State Capitol in the Florida Senate Building, Tallahassee, Florida, Corporate collection include: Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, Florida House of Representatives in the Florida State Capitol Building, Tallahassee, Florida , PepsiCo, – New York, American Express Corporation, IBM Corporation and St. Petersburg Community College in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Sunil – Thank you an interesting list of collectors, have you thought of having your exhibition over here in England, UK and also in Europe.
Jake – Yes! Sunil I love to have my first exhibition outside United States to open in England, UK and also to cover Europe. Sunil – I welcome the opportunity of working together and we could make this announcement in the near future.
5. Sunil – The next question is about our group and the work that we have achieved by bringing artists around the Globe to work together as Globalization ICAS and we are privilege to have you on board.. What do you believe working jointly we could influence and make an impact in the Art Industry?
Jake – a lot of things Sunil no seriously personally I would change the cavalier way that some people in the industry treat the artists. Many fail to realize that their very livelihood depends on the artist’s contribution.
With the progress of modern technology communication has improved greatly. And I see Globalization ICAS offering all artists a larger platform working together giving everyone involved an opportunity to open prospects to a global market. Sunil – I am in total agreement with you this is the future of holding everyone together as one whole Art Industry.
I know you are very passionate about art and you spend most of your working time to complete the next big painting in the making.., When you have spare time to yourself .., Do have any hobbies or other interests
Jake – Sunil music in a way has influence my painting.., I love music of any kind. I “play” the guitar rather poorly. I have collaborated with musicians and included musical tracks on my video work. A lot of my understanding and structure in my paintings have been mainly influenced by musicians rather than visual artists.
Sunil – Yes I could liken your painting to the musical notes, in rhythm; balance; and in harmony. I can also see how each colour to link with one another. We could bring another master French painter and draughtsman George Seurat one of the 19th century artist who worked with the theory of science & light looking at colours in the form of dots. The famous painting titled: Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. You have taken this to the next level in studying the behavior of light through series of optical lenses. Brilliant execution of light and shades I must say.., breaking the light pattern into Individual shades of colours.
Sunil – Leading onto my next question if I was to put you on the spot to describe yourself in 3 words; can you tell me and one has to be a colour?
Jake – Certainly Sunil I would say.., Very-Curious-Grey
Sunil – This question relate to your personality and character and I presume throughout your life you had to work hard to get where you are today!! That will explain your desire of expecting only the best out of Life!!!
Curious is the trade that your learn to master to become eager from your early childhood wanting to grasp at all knowledge as much as possible about a particular subject; being inquisitive minded to accomplished the standards that you set for yourself; Going back to our discussion about how you start a painting your refer to like a detective wanting to see the whole picture without leaving anything out.
Grey is the symbol for security, maturity and dependability. It connotes responsibility and conservative practicality. And also in relation to you painting we could see how the colour grey place an intricate part from your black & white sketches to rich realistic paintings of nature, grey use as a balance to the palette of colours that you used to increase the energy flow creating movement, as well as emotion, warmth in places to highlight a particular colours of your painting. Very mesmerizing!!!
Sunil – It’s been an interesting journey to celebrate your achievements and to appreciate how you perfected your own style. For all your admirers and members who are following our interview can you tell us your perfect scenario for painting?
Jake – Sunil it depends on the project. For my “La Finca de Parchman” painting it would be a 13ft x 21ft bamboo cage. The tiger cage serves not to “incarcerate” the artist but rather to keep outside influences from interfering with the work. At its foundation “La Finca de Parchman” is an experiment in self-imposed isolation. I plan to remain confined to the cage as long as necessary to finish a 7ft x7ft painting (months perhaps). This piece will be based on fragments and memories from the infamous Parchman Farm a Mississippi prison from which I’ve been inspired but never housed.
Sunil – We’ve have a great following from artists around the World, also joining us here today for this lovely interview… What advice would you give to new talented artists wanting to become successful like yourself, can you give them any pointers?
Jake – Sunil it my pleasure and I would like to break it down to the following categories in no particular order which ever one work’s for you!!
Get a thick skin:
You are going to need it. You will come across a lot of naysayers and manipulators that would try to discourage you in order to gain an unfair advantage or simple jealousy. One must be secure and move past these annoyances. It is not that difficult if you believe in your path, you will not be stopped.
Master your craft:
Only when you gain mastery of your craft will you be able to express and communicate your vision. The pleasure derived from the execution of a skill you thought to be unattainable is immeasurable. Keep in mind that proficiency and craft is denigrated by those who have neither.
That is our most treasured and intangible gift, our internal compass. It is our raison d’etre and our key to eternal joy and wonderment.
Sunil – Your experiences and advice to new emerging talented artists will become useful tool to guide them through their career, once again thank you for sharing.., We are now coming to the end of our exclusive interview and at the stage I usually like to complete our interview by bringing our conversation to the present moment if you could kindly share with us the current project that you working on?
Jake – Happily Sunil currently I, am working on a series of large paintings titled “Vishnu comes to Dixie” in addition to small related collages. I am using a square mandala-like format to transpose very small collages that I have assembled into expended large-scale works forming a “tapestry” of real, imagined and remembered elements. Stay tuned!
Sunil – I am delighted to able to cover your whole colourful life story from your earlier beginning to present day. It’s been a privilege and honor to be able to have this opportunity for our exclusive interview in our VIP creative lounge.., I would like to wish you continued success in your growing career
Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you Jake Fernandez today’s most celebrated Contemporary artist’s of the 21st Century.
If I could open our interview for questions from members of Globalization ICAS that you would like to ask JAKE personally and he will happily answer them?
Didier Dubuy • France – Thank you both Jake & Sunil for opening the door wide upon these marvelous landscapes. As Jake’s art seems to reflect a fondness for European painting, could he tell us about some of the artists & their peculiar skills he did appreciate most ?
Antonino Gambino • Italy – I didn’t know Fernandez, unfortunately I close me in my study to work and I don’t have the time to be able to admire the works of my colleagues. Thanks Sunil and Fernandez, because you have succeeded in giving me some emotions. Regards and good job to everybody and wishes of Good Easter to Fernandez
Sunil Vilas • UK – Thank you Didier for opening our QUESTION TIME with your question to Jake?
Also to Antonino for your kind comments, Happy Easter to you and your family
Jake Fernandez • USA – Hello Didier,Antonio and Sunil. You are correct. I am an admirer of European painting. From the great Italian fresco painter Giotto di Bondone to the contemporary Spanish master Antonio Lopez Garcia. I’ll mention a few: Pietro Lorenzetti, for his spatial inventions Leonardo,for his genius. El Greco, for his depth and spirituality Jan Vermeer, for his flawless and supernatural technique Jaques-Louis David, for his gravitas Goya, for his raw emotion Ingress,for his precision Degas, for his innovative and understated virtuosity Rene Magritte, for his sense of mystery Francis Picabia, for his indomitable rebellion Marcel Duchamp, for his indifference and humor…I could go on…
Sunil Vilas • UK – Jake once again you have raise our aspersions for your paintings listing some of the great Masters and thinkers, ahead of their times.., I can also follow their influences in your paintings. Thank you for adding this information in our interview. I look forward to seeing your new works moving to the figurative art category.
Didier thank you for asking the question.., if other members of the group would like to ask their questions, Jake will take few more questions.., I am sure
Jake Happy Easter to you and your family And all the Members of Globalization ICAS
Sunil Vilas • UK – If we all can play homage to all the Great Masters that Jake has bought to our attention. If I could open a topic asking members to participate by selecting artist’s from the list below to firstly confirm what you like about their work & name examples? And secondly if they had also influenced you in your development for Art?
1. Italian fresco painter Giotto di Bondone
2. Contemporary Spanish master Antonio Lopez Garcia.
3. Pietro Lorenzetti, for his spatial inventions
4. Leonardo,for his genius.
5. El Greco, for his depth and spirituality
6. Jan Vermeer, for his flawless and supernatural technique
7. Jaques-Louis David, for his gravitas
8. Goya, for his raw emotion
9. Ingress,for his precision
10. Degas, for his innovative and understated virtuosity
11. Rene Magritte, for his sense of mystery
12. Francis Picabia, for his indomitable rebellion
13. Marcel Duchamp, for his indifference and humor..
Didier Dubuy • France – Thanks jake for this wide spectrum of outstanding artists. I’ve got a long-lasting love for Vermeer ( & for Salomon van Ruisdael amongst many of the Flemish “golden century” ). I never stopped to be fascinated by his ‘Lacemaker’; The red thread seems so real but once you got the nose on it appears like an abstract expressionist sign quickly traced with the brush charged with enough material.
About Duchamp, who is closing up the list, I love “Sad young man in a train”, “The spouse” for it pushes cubism one step forward to Futurism then early to surrealism. He’s gone so far & so quick in experiment he ended up in a bittersweet attitude or a wisdom posture -choose- considering art like a form of vanity & then he prefered to play chess ( a last art performance?).
It’s only my personal feeling but I may be wrong.
With your permission, another question that burns the tip of my tongue; Jake, the assembly of panels in some large-scale paintings like if you did squared up a sketch for a mural looks like a personal signature. It brings up a distinction preventing to get melt down with the image. You used the same process in your collages but there to turn reality into abstract or to re-arrange nature. Could you give us something about this peculiar process?
Happy Easter time to all as well..
Jake Fernandez • USA – Didier~ Unlike most painters, I do not paint from general areas to specific but rather more like a mosaic or a fresco muralist. (one section at a time). I was intrigued by the way sonar technology worked, transmitting sounds that bounce back from surfaces and producing images from its echo. I wanted to offer a visual equivalent in my work. I wanted the viewer to see a painting that included a sculptural element and a shattered picture plane, so your eyes could not rest but wonder.. This three-dimensional element (bas-relief) creates an uneven surface so the reflected light “bouncing” off of the painting surface to the viewer’s eyes is not a flat continues plane but dynamic and ever-changing. It is quite difficult to see this in reproductions but there is nothing in my paintings that is solidly rendered.
By creating this uneven patchwork of fragments, the following happens: A) The angle of the light bouncing of the surface is complex, not limited to a flat field, and contingent on the viewer’s relative angle of vision. B) The image drastically changes depending upon the distance the painting is observed. C) The the viewer is “forced” to connect the dots and come up with his/hers subjective interpretation of what they see. I hope this helps.
Biography of Jake Fernandez
Born in Havana, Cuba 1951
Education: B.F.A. University of Florida, 1976
M.F.A. University of South Florida, 1979
2013 – Jake Fernandez: Altered Realities, Retrospective Exhibition
Lighthouse Art Center Museum and School of Art, Palm Beach, FL
2012 – Jake Fernandez: Paintings, Photo-collages & Videos
The Studio at Gulf and Pine, Anna Maria Island, FL
2011 – Places, Real and Imagined
Seminole State College of Florida, Sanford, FL
The Perpetual Frieze
6th Street Container Alternative Space, Miami, FL
2010 – Jake Fernandez: Progressions
Florida International University, Miami, FL
2009 – European Landscapes
Timpson Gallery, GA
2007 – Southern Landscapes
Timpson Gallery, GA
2001 – Jake Fernandez: The Ethereal Journeyman
Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL
1999 – Landscapes
Randy Batista Gallery, Gainesville, FL
1998 – Sites and Composites
Frances Wolfson Art Gallery
Miami Dade College, Miami, FL
Timpson Gallery, Clayton, GA
1997 – Landscapes
Timpson Gallery, Clayton, GA
Paintings and Drawings, 1977-1997
Tampa Public Library, Tampa, FL
1996 – Gardens
Timpson Gallery, Clayton, GA
1992 – Paintings and Drawings
Marcelle Fine Art, New York, NY
1986 – Paintings and Drawings
Stokker Stikker Gallery, New York, NY
1983 – Paintings and Drawings
Gallery Gemini, Palm Beach, FL
1981 – Paintings and Drawings
Gallery Gemini, Palm Beach, FL
1980 – Quittin’ Your Sugar, Installation
Deland Museum, Deland, FL
1979 – Acts of Abandonment and Despair
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
1978 – Jake Fernandez, Recent Photographs
Tampa Bay Art Center, Tampa, FL
Contemporary Art Museum;
University of South Florida, Tampa;
Lawton Chiles Foundation;
Anna Maria Island, Florida;
State of Florida House of Representatives;
Florida State Capitol Building, Tallahassee;
State of Florida Senate Building;
Florida State Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida;
St. Petersburg Junior College, St. Petersburg, Florida;
IBM Corporation.. Armonk, New York;
American Express Corporation, New York, NY;
PepsiCo Incorporated, Chicago, IL;
Nations Bank, Charlotte, NC;
Institute for Research in Art
University of South Florida Museum,Tampa
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