Interview: Brenda R. Fernández | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Brenda R. Fernández

Interviews | February 1, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Brenda R. Fernández

Interview: Brenda R. Fernández
Luca Curci talks with Brenda R. Fernández during BODYSPACES, first appointment of CANVAS CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

Brenda Patricia Rodríguez Fernández was born in Mexico City in 1973. She studied Initiation in the Arts at Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), later earning a degree in Art at the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana. In 1997, she studied with Master Luis Nishizawa, from whom she learned the handling of multiple painting techniques and procedures. In 2007, she began a Master’s degree in Social Responsibility at Anahuac University. For more than 20 years, she has combined her passion for art with a career in social development, working in different sectors to design innovative strategies for social inclusion within communities. From the moment she began to hold exhibitions, she decided on her professional name: Brenda R. Fernández. Fernández’s artistic career has seen her exhibit work in various national and international venues in Mexico, Germany, France, Spain, Brussels, Austria, Italy, USA, and Switzerland, among other countries. 

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Image courtesy of Brenda R. Fernández

Luca Curci – What is art for you? 
Brenda R. Fernández –
Creating is my act of Hope. It is how I relate to my feelings, my body, and its memory. Through the body, we experience reality, we get to know our surroundings, we communicate who we are and we relate to the world. Through the dynamics of recognising others and ourselves, we generate impulses in the subconscious that are imprinted in our minds, leaving traces in our memory. 

LC – How important is the editing process in your work? How’s yours? 
My creative process is a collaborative one with nature. When the materials react or when they are drying, it is the elements of temperature, space, time, humidity and wind that determine how a piece will be transformed. And this collaboration is a continuous process because if today is a hot day, the materials react in a certain way; if I use pigments and it is windy, there will be a gap in the canvas. Therefore, my creative process is an act of freedom and collaboration. I use organic materials – natural pigments, different textures, marble dust, sand, flax oil, and paints that I create. Crucially, the fabric gets the main space. I believe we often forget the important role played by both the easel and the canvas. In my work, the weave of the fabric always plays a fundamental role. In treating the fabric (usually made of cotton), I start with a half chalk primer made of rabbit’s foot glue, calcium carbonate, flaxseed oil, zinc oxide and distilled water. This raises the absorption and refraction capacity of the textile. I use different creative techniques, mainly a mixed technique based on a combination of texture, colours and painting tools (spatulas, rollers, paintbrushes, wood, and my hands). For my sculpting work, I have experimented with fibreglass bandages, resins, plaster, polyurethane foam, and silicon, among others. 

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Image courtesy of Brenda R. Fernández

LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme? 
Yes, my artwork is marked by the equation of matter = skin = psyche. This conceptual matrix is enriched through its overlap with two other discursive lines tasked with conveying its production: the tireless exploration of the margin of possibilities open to gestural abstraction; and the growing need to question the bi-dimensionality of modernist painting in order to advance first toward tri-dimensionality and finally toward sculpturally. Indeed, my work represents one of the most interesting expressions of the trans-modern category called “painting in the expanded field.” 

LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way? 
My foray into the art world started when I was a child; raised in a liberal and strongly matriarchal Mexican family, our foundation was based on respect, freedom, and love for others. During my early years, I was surrounded by artistic expression – music, film, theatre, literature, and mainly painting. My paternal grandmother used to invite me into her workshop to watch her paint and to help her. This was my introduction to creativity. In 2016 I prepared “Destramando“, an art exhibition in which I recreated the layout of my life. Stains, freehand firm lines and scratches that mould shapes, breaks that design compasses, soft chiaroscuros denoting rhythms, and accumulated broken forms brought together as a construction. Later on, in 2018, I began exploring different techniques, materials and textures, along with solid colours added into an abstract monochrome, to provoke the viewer to a broader interaction and dialogue with the artwork. In 2020, I started working as a sculptor with one monumental masterpiece, Tu YO al Cubo, comprising 9 polyhedric canvases in mixed media (460 x 240 x 240 cms. – I also incorporated large canvases in the paintwork. In 2021 I started experimenting with my own body, creating a life-size mould using acrylic bandages. This work led me to a literal conversation with my body’s memory in three-dimensional shapes. 

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Image courtesy of Brenda R. Fernández

LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
In structuring my journey painting takes from flatness toward its expansion of the sculptural, three stages can be established: the wound; bi-frontality; and the body. Beginning with the slash that “wounds” the canvas, we must say that skin only speaks and becomes language when it is open or when its quiet continuity is interrupted. Skin that breaks is no longer a flat, bidimensional film that contains the body’s physical and psychic insides. On the contrary, open skin ceases to be plain and becomes an agitated and unpredictable orography that conquers tri-dimensionality. When skin opens, the body – volume, object -manifests itself in the same way that paint enters space. 

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition? 
Art is Liberty. It is a tool that allows for wounds to be healed, to communicate who I have been, who I am and who I will be. Art gives me the privilege of opening up the bowels of my life and hopes that somehow, this story of mine can find an echo when it is seen when it is exhibited and that those who gaze upon it and can experience some emotion to transport them to a place in the subconscious. Sometimes it is a mirror, sometimes a window. 

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Image courtesy of Brenda R. Fernández

LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition? 
There is a personal journey in my work which explores techniques that can specify and shape personal evolution; an inner journey which takes us into light and darkness by tearing itself apart and rebuilding itself, only to deconstruct itself once again. It is a pictorial work found in a three-dimensional application of a flat surface. We cannot deny the sublimity of the subtext of the created work, however ephemeral it may be. Abstract art has a deeply ingrained aesthetic that cannot be denied. Tu YO al Cubo 9 polyhedric canvas/ mixed media. 

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us? 
Yes, it’s amazing cooperating with you. 

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event? 
It has been very pleasant working with you. The organization they have had for these exhibitions is first class. 

LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP
One of the most serious and professional galleries with which I have worked. 

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Image courtesy of Brenda R. Fernández

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