Rise art turns the spotlight on: Fernando Velazquez
Curator Jo Baring says, "Fernando paints with real passion. His works are bursting with energy and life. They are beautiful abstract pieces, but they're layered with meaning so they work on many different levels. I think these would look stunning in any interior."
Who are you and what do you do?
I am a Spanish artist, that paints to survive the brutal realisation that life is incredibly difficult and amazingly beautiful at the same time.
I come from a creative kind of family and being the youngest I was exposed to art and music at an early stage. However, I started painting in my late teens, an activity that allowed me to explore intense emotions at a time when we all discover the world, it's complexities and beauty.
Who would be your ideal client for whom to commission a piece?
Anybody who feels strongly about my work. Anybody who sees beyond the painting…
What is your dream project?
My dream is to see my paintings traveling all over the world, communicating with many different kinds of people. I dream to create a series of paintings that will live in places of silence.
How would you describe your pieces in 3 words?
I wouldn't. I paint to explain things that I cannot say otherwise. I prefer others to describe my work in 3 words…And I hope I am not misunderstood saying this.
What are your favourite materials to use - or what materials do you find challenging or produce results which surprised you?
I love oils. They are as physical as you would like them to be and as spiritual as you need them sometimes. Painting is a fascinating thing, simple and basic but also complex and sophisticated. Oils are very much part of nature and painters sometimes create a parallel universe, another nature full of trials and the depths of imagination. When a painting contains life, it tends to be independent from my own, and that surprises and intrigues me…The difficulty is to be in the right state of mind to allow that life to happen on the canvas, an unpredictable adventure that goes beyond knowledge and technique.
On average, how long does it take to complete a piece?
You never complete a piece! It takes a life time to complete "the" piece…My paintings are steps towards a bigger picture, I hope. They normally take 3 months to mature in the studio but much longer to become a step that can be saved! My own judging is my worse enemy.
Who are your 3 favourite artists or influencers?
I love so many paintings and admire many artists. I learn from most of them. I learn about those things that I don't want to do and those things that connect with my life. Rembrandt makes me reflect quietly, Bacon shouts from chaos, Turner talks to me about light, Munch, Ensor and Nolde make the ground around me shake, as Modigliani and Soutine stir my emotions. I learn from the order of the Italian Renaissance and the excitement of French romanticism, and the silence of Rothko and Friedrich makes me listen to the sounds of other worlds…
What type of setting do you visualise your work in?
I want my paintings to be in temples, caves, palaces, huge buildings and in the middle of fields in summer. I want my paintings to be loved. Ah, also in houses!
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I am very fortunate…I have seen people from many backgrounds moved by my paintings, something that fills me with confidence. I saw people loosing themselves in some images, taking the space and inhabiting it with clean and open eyes. I have seen children finding beautiful creatures that I never intended to paint and older people who saw their own lives in my canvases. I have seen inspired people that confirm the value of my work.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I couldn't say. We are all interesting, we are all lesser and greater than others…The interesting thing is to be true to your vocation, your struggle or your love for life, recognising that art is truly a long and fascinating journey.
How did you get into art? Is it necessary to go to art school?
I got into art through the absolute need for expression, the need to discover new territories and a profound curiosity about painting and artistic expression in general. Art for me was the light, and continues to be today. I am completely self-taught.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
"Don't let your soul be contaminated" I gave myself that advice. And also "Take any advice with extreme caution".
If you could own one work of art from Rise Art what would it be?