We had the good fortune of connecting with Fausto Fernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fausto, how do you think about risk?
In thinking of the life that most artists live I think most of it as a risk, is not easy to try and make a living from art, the risk starts when anyone decides they like to become self-employed in a market that is fickle, always changing and never constant. I think is a matter of questioning what motivates us, creating a degree of awareness, we each decide if the risk is worth taking, what opportunities and lifestyles are we willing to sacrifice. I didn’t plan to become an artist but the opportunities working at museums in the past and constantly surrounding myself with other artists inspired me. The amount of risks I’ve taken and continue to take is long but worth the effort, I am happy to follow my intuition to take a leap into following my passion.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a mixed media collage artist whose art works include a variety of paintings, public art, and community engagement projects. I am known for his large-scale multi-media paintings and site-specific installations. My studio work he employs both traditional media, photography and found objects. I layer these identifiable subjects with abstract elements in dense arrangements, resulting in large compositions that serve as metaphors for human interaction.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I spend my time mostly with friends in the same spots. Before the Covid pandemic I would say my most frequented places in Phoenix were Lost Leaf, Gracies, Lux Coffee Shop, The Roof at the Cambria Hotel and the local museums. When I lived in LA my neighborhood bar was Tony’s Saloon.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents were always open in allowing my sister and I to follow our passions.
There is a long list of people who have been important in my career.
René Paul Barilleaux, The Head of Curatorial Affairs at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio for giving me an opportunity to work at The Mississippi Museum of Art when he was their curator. Rene followed my art career for years after, and included me in some incredible shows.
Margaret Bruning set my career path as a site-specific public art artist when she gave me the opportunity to do an internship at Scottsdale Public Art, she commissioned me for my first public art installation in Scottsdale and years later I created a public art installation in California when she was the Director at LA County Arts Commission. Thank Margaret for you for your advice and friendship.
The Heard Museum Staff for giving me the opportunity to work behind the scenes at the museum, showing my work and including my work in your collection. Joe Baker who was the Contemporary Curator at The Heard in 2008 for including me in my first museum exhibitions and currently selected my work to be included at The Arizona Biennial 2020 at The Tucson Museum of Art
Organic Living, Ironwood Mills and Ironwood Yoga Studios for becoming great studio neighbors.
Thank you to all my family of friends in Phoenix, Los Angeles, EL Paso and Cd, Juarez.