JAKE FERNANDEZ: Paintings, Drawings, Photo-collages, and Videos

October 16 – November, 13, 2012
The Studio at Gulf and Pine, Anna Maria Island, FL

Fernandez is known for creating complex pictorial structures that exist in a zone between representation and abstraction, reflecting his unique interpretation of light and space.

October 16 – November, 13, 2012
The Studio at Gulf and Pine, Anna Maria Island, FL

Artist Reception: Friday, Oct. 26th, 5:00 – 8:00pm
*Artist’s talk and video presentation T.B.A.

The multi-layered work of Jake Fernandez (featured artist) will be showcased in a solo exhibition that spans several decades and reveals many facets of the artist’s work. He is known for creating complex pictorial structures that exist in a zone between representation and abstraction, reflecting his unique interpretation of light and space.

Silver Springs, pastel on paper 20in x 30in copyright Jake Fernandez 2012

A variety of media will illuminate his process and the progression of several projects through their many phases, providing an examination of visual information altered by the artist’s hand over time
Fernandez graduated from the University of Florida and received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of South Florida. His works are in numerous public and private collections, and he is represented by ACA Galleries in New York.

Hidden Mandala, graphite on paper, 22.5 in x 30in, © Jake Fernandez 2012

The video sequence Perpetual Frieze will be shown for the first time. Inspired by urban gardens on New York’s Lower East Side and Miami’s inner city, it uses photographic fragments collected and compressed over 25 years. Its development and production involved a collaboration with British sound artist and composer Paul Ramshaw, whose work in electro-acoustic sound abstraction and manipulation, coupled with video representation elicits changing emotional contexts over time. This video installation is the first of a number of such collaborations that Fernandez and Ramshaw have planned for the future.

From the Bridge, pastel on paper 20in x 27in Jake Fernandez copyright 2012


10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria Island, FL
Gallery Hours: Tues. – Sat. 1:00pm – 5:00pm

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Cassia Kite solo show at Palmetto Art Center

October 5 – October 30, 2012
Palmetto Art Center, FL

On Friday evening, October 5th, from 5 – 9PM, PAC invites the public to come see ROOTS: The Regeneration Series — new works based on Cassia Kite’s passive and active emotional declination of her past.

October 5 – October 30, 2012
Palmetto Art Center, FL

On Friday evening, October 5th, from 5 – 9PM, PAC invites the public to come see ROOTS: The Regeneration Series — new works based on Cassia Kite’s passive and active emotional declination of her past.

“It is my hope to bring a resolve to intense feelings of nostalgia that create grievances between my present existence and my past experiences” says Kite. “Although I cannot recover past experiences, return to places I have a longing to be, or communicate physically with individuals that have influenced me, I can recall and regenerate them to the canvas in an attempt to construct these sentimental, fleeting memories from my past to the present.”

Cassie Kite was born and raised in Auburn, Nebraska and attended Northwest Missouri State University earning a B.F.A in painting and sculpture, along with a B.S in Art Education. In the summer of 2006, Kite moved to St. Petersburg, Florida from Atlanta, Georgia to work with both the Museum of Fine Arts and the Salvador Dali Museum.

In Homage To: Origins, Cassia Kite

As an art educator, Kite previously taught K-5 art within the Pinellas County Public School System between July 2006 and June 2010. She completed a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in School Improvement, Teacher Leadership and Technology at the University of Florida in December 2010. Currently, Kite is the Painting, Printmaking and Modern and Contemporary Art History Instructor at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. She resides in Sarasota where she continues to work in her home studio.

Cassia Kite’s solo show’s Opening Reception coincides with Historic Downtown Palmetto’s family friendly and increasingly popular “First Friday.” Slick’s Car Garage will also be open with classic cars, bikes and rockin’ tunes. For those who cannot attend the opening reception, PAC Gallery is open Monday – Friday, Noon – 2PM, closed on Wednesdays. The show will continue through October 30th.

PAC is located in historic downtown Palmetto at 907 5th Street West – right next door to Growers’ Hardware. For more information or directions, visit PalmettoArtCenter.com or call (941) 518-2109. Free admission, family friendly and most welcoming to all.

The Palmetto Art Center is located at:
907 5th Street West, Palmetto, Florida, 34221.
Right next door to Grower’s Hardware Store

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The Truth is Too Convoluted: Kim Anderson & Caui Lofgren

September 14 – October 14,2012
C. Emerson Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL

It has been said that the average person lies between 1-5 times a day. Motivated by malice or kindness, whether to survive, protect, hurt, or seduce, we negotiate our relationships through varying degrees of honesty. In light of the many assumptions correlating truth and art, there are those who have come to embrace the flaws, contradictions, and absurdities that upset the façade of our constructed environment. When in 1923 Pablo Picasso proclaimed, “Art is a lie that makes us realize truth” he anticipated a later cultural shift.

Responding in different ways to this condition, Caui Lofgren and Kim Anderson employ painting and drawing to reflect on the elusiveness of truth. Taking his cue from mass media, Lofgren assembles new fictions appropriated from the coercively seductive icons of popular culture. Vaguely familiar, Lofgren’s images recall Rorschach’s tests, and appear to slip between multiple biomorphic forms. Photography, once revered as concrete evidence, can now more than ever be easily manipulated or altered. By collecting and reinterpreting found amateur photographs Anderson’s work unravels the minutia dividing what is actual and imaginary in the most seemingly treasured and personal of images.

Kim Anderson, Salome Installation

KIM ANDERSON – Born in San Francisco and raised in Honolulu, Kim Anderson is an artist and educator currently residing in Bradenton, FL. She is an Associate Professor of Art at New College of Florida where she has taught painting and drawing since 2004. Collecting and translating found photographs into paintings and drawings reflects her concern for the influence of photography on our behaviors, conventions, and memories. Her work has been exhibited in cities including Atlanta, Miami, New York, and Sarasota, and has been featured in New American Paintings, Studio Visit Magazine, and the Drawing Center Viewing Program. She is a recent recipient of the Sarasota Arts Council John Ringling Individual Artist Grant and has appeared on WEDU’s A Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins. She holds an M.F.A. from University of Florida and B.F.A. from California College of Arts and Crafts.

CAUI LOFGREN – Born in Eugene, Oregon and raised in Minneapolis and Northern California, Caui Lofgren received his MFA and BFA from the University of Florida. He is currently the chair of the art program at the IMG Pendleton School in Bradenton, FL and has taught as an adjunct faculty at New College of Florida in Sarasota, FL. His work finds patterns in accumulation where meaning is evoked through hybridization and mutation. A synthesis of the natural and the artificial, symmetrical patterns convey underlying subversive drives, summoning mythical beasts, and eliciting collective obsessions. His work has been exhibited in the Brevard Art Museum, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Art Center Sarasota, and galleries in Miami and Sarasota. His drawings have been featured in the last two yearly publications of Manifest International Drawing Annual (6&7), an international juried survey of contemporary drawing.

909 Central Ave Saint Petersburg, Florida 33705

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Featured Artist: Jake Fernandez

Jake Fernandez graduated from the University of Florida and received his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida. He is known for creating complex pictorial structures through the observation of light and space. His works are in numerous public and private collections. He is represented by ACA Galleries in New York City. Interview conducted by Pamela Beck.

Jake Fernandez
Conservatory 1, pastel on paper, 24in x 72in , copyright Jake Fernandez 2012

How does working in a technology-fueled world differ from when you were working in the seventies?

In the seventies I was very interested in the NASA photos of the lunar terrain with its hash marks and lined grids. At the time, I had the contrarian idea of “constructing” a painting from individual fragments to a complete composition, rather than the traditional general to specific method of covering the entire picture plane and refining the image until finished. I thought the “tiling” of colors or seeing digitally, made more sense. Image making technologies in the last thirty years are generally based on this concept.

There’s no question that technological advances have always influenced artists. Many early 20th century artists, like Leger or Sheeler, celebrated the machine by painting them as a glorified subject. But I’m interested in the machine’s process, its modus operandi that traces and reveals its own internal bias. I often mimic the repetitive actions of machines when I work, in order to find my own bias or “fingerprint.”

Jake Fernandez
Jake Fernandez, Studio with works in progress

Who has been of great influence to you and your work?

My earliest and most profound influence came from a man named Osmin Perez (aka Andoba.) He worked for my grandmother in Cuba, where I’m from. He was a gardener by day and a timbalero (musician that plays the timbales) by night. He was humble and uneducated but possessed the powers of a shaman. In addition to being a gifted percussionist, he could communicate with animals, and foretell future events with uncanny accuracy. As a young child Andoba taught me by example the limitations of logic, but more importantly how to live in a magical world of one’s own making, which I think is essential for an artist.

Jake Fernandez
Hidden Mandala , 96in x 96in oil on wood, copyright Jake Fernandez 2011 (2)

How do you create the 3D quality of your work in paintings like “Myakka Fork” and “Hidden Mandala?”

Most of my paintings have a bas-relief component. By including this shallow three- dimensional surface, a kind of visual shift is produced resulting in a more dynamic visual experience. I build the surfaces (bas-relief) by attaching pieces of wood or building up the surface with plaster. I work each layer independently.
By isolating each pass and concentrating on a singular step at a time I’m able to go into a meditative trance that makes the work more automatic than calculated. The overall geometric patterns of the painting are pre-set but what happens between those parameters is more automatic and intuitive than calculated.

Jake Fernandez
Perpetual Frieze, Houston Street Frieze, Section 1, photo collage, 9.5in x 25.5in, copyright Jake Fernandez 2012

Where did the idea for your photo collage, “The Perpetual Frieze”, come from?

I think the photo-collages were born out of necessity. I worked for years in a basement on Bond St. in NYC and my closest access to nature was a community “garden” on nearby Houston St. and the Bowery. I would photo-document this blighted area, take the photos back to the studio cut and re-assemble the photo fragments into a new configuration.

Jake Fernandez
Perpetual Frieze, Houston St, Detail K, photo collage, copyright Jake Fernandez 2012

I found it intriguing that the same photos taken from a decaying urban landscape could be transformed into a lyrical scene by simply relying on my imagination to rearrange the mosaic-like fragments. “The Perpetual Frieze” based on that garden, was started in 1984 and I continue to intermittently add pieces to this day. The piece now measures over 9” x 25 ft in length.

Are their particular themes or ideas that inspire your work?

Inspiration is a concept that I find totally mysterious. In my case it is completely unpredictable. I know not what triggers it.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on two commissions along with my ‘Trie Garden Project”, which is a series of paintings based on the medieval garden at The Cloisters in NY.

Jake Fernandez
From the Bridge, pastel on paper 20in x 27in, copyright Jake Fernandez 2011

What would be your fantasy exhibition space, a place that feels most in sync with what your work is expressing?

In reality, I am actually planning to install the “Trie Garden Project” in Frank Gehry’s “Upper Room”, which is on the top floor of a building he designed for the St. Monica Church in Santa Monica, California, next year. It’s about thirty-five feet in diameter with curved walls, a domed ceiling and a circular skylight. To me this really is a fantasy come true.

But if the Rothko paintings are ever moved out of the Rothko Chapel …now that would be something.

What do you see as the role of the artist in society today?

To be a shining example of survival against all odds.

What aspects of the contemporary art world would you change if you could?

I would like to see things that are truly extraordinary and less derivative.

Jake Fernandez
Imaginary Shoreline(Surf), oil on linen, 33in x 96in, ©Jake Fernandez2011

If you could pick any people dead or alive to go to dinner with, who would they be and why?

If fictional characters are included then Chance the Gardener from the movie “Being There” because I admire his innocence and irrational optimism, not to mention his suits. Shirley MacLaine’s my other choice. What can I say, she’s Shirley MacLaine.

When you are about finished with a work, do you return to rework it? What makes you know that you’re done and can walk away?

Actually, I never go back and rework a painting. I go through the process, however byzantine, in sequence and don’t “correct” or “refine” the piece. An artist whose name I can’t recall once said, “Paintings are never finished, only abandoned.”

Jake Fernandez
Giverny Redux, Study 7, graphite on paper 22.5in x 30in, copyright Jake Fernandez2011

Do you approach your work differently today than thirty years ago?

Not really. I am much more comfortable with the process now.

What would your personal flag look like if one could represent you?

Torn but still flying.

You describe yourself as a dreamer, do you feel like you have anything in common with, say, an accountant?

I have to balance my checkbook.

For additional information, please contact Point Pleasant Studios (941) 746-7856, email pointpleasantstudios@gmail.com, and visit https://www.facebook.com/jakefernandezart

Featured Visiting Artist: Kymia Nawabi

Kymia Nawabi will be in Sarasota to speak at New College of Florida. She was gracious enough to provide us with an interview. We are lucky to have such great talent come to our beautiful community, and we are very happy to share this awesome conversation with our readers.

Nawabi, a first-generation Iranian-American artist, earned her MFA from the University of Florida in 2006 and BFA from East Carolina University in 2003. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious residencies and awards including The Keyholder Residency with The Lower East Side Printshop (2012), winner of Bravo’s reality TV series Work of Art: The Next Great Artist (2011), New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Grant and Fellowship in drawing (2009), two-time Swing Space recipient with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2009, 2007), Nominee and Fellowship with the Aljira Emerge 10 Program (2008), The Canal Chapter Residency (2007) and The Women’s Studio Workshop Fellowship and Residency (2007).

Kymia Nawabi will be speaking at New College of Florida April 18, 6:30 pm Sainer Pavilion.

Kymia Nawabi
Kymia Nawabi

sVA: What made you want to do Work of Art?

At first, I kind of had no choice in the matter, to be honest. My sister called me and said I had to fill the paperwork out and just try. I thought she was out of her mind! Whenever you apply to anything you always assume there are thousands of other people out there trying to get the same thing you are. I always wonder what the odds are of even getting a chance.

However, once I was told I made it on as a contestant for the show I knew I truly wanted to be on Work of Art. It would be an adventure in my life and more importantly a challenge for my art. As scary, torturous and exciting as an adventure can be sometimes, it still is the most fruitful and exhilarating thing you can do for your soul.

sVA: How has life been in the studio since the end of the show?

I would call it more of an office now than a studio; I am on the computer all day.

There are a ton of emails to reply to daily, interviews to answer and I have also been applying to residencies and grants. As with any job, there is an administrative part to being an artist. I do have project plans for my new works that I feel very eager to be able to get started on, of course.

sVA: Have you been able to try some new materials you could not of previously afford or get a new studio with your prize money?

I am very excited about working with casts taken from my full body. I would like to seriously go into large-scale sculpture. This is a very pricey process and I need to make sure I have the right timing and space to begin it all.

I was just recently awarded the Keyholder residency with The Lower East Side Printshop in NYC where I plan on working on medium to large-scale collagraphs. It has been years since I have been able to revisit this process, as I cannot afford a printing press. I plan on splurging on beautiful, giant sheets of paper and printmaking inks for sure!

Kymia Nawabi
Kaleidoscope Diamond Eyes, 2007 acrylic, acrylic ink, charcoal, conte, graphite, sparkle sticker, watercolor, watercolor pen on paper 78 x 96 in.

sVA: What is your creative process?

Mentally, the process is the same: I take an issue or event that is meaningful to me, investigate it through introspection, reading, writing and conversation, create a mythology containing a world of characters and environments that symbolize the issue metaphorically, and lastly, experiment with color, texture, line, scale… to further push the conceptual framework for the piece(s). The biggest shift I have recently made to my work has been to pair down the elements and palette, which has had a positive effect on the affect of my work. As a multi-disciplinary artist, I work cyclically with drawing, painting and sculpture processes.

sVA: Have you kept up with Bob and Barbara? If so, how are they?

My boyfriend and I have definitely visited Bob and Barbara at their amazing shop back in Cold Spring, NY. They are such amazing people who we fully intend on visiting again this summer sometime soon.

sVA: How would you describe your artistic point of view? What do you hope to communicate through your work?

By observing the essences, behaviors, and appearances of others and myself, I study the peculiarities of individuals, their relationships to one another and their environments. From this stock of my own wonders concerning our world and its inhabitants, my works portray personifications of our human abject experiences, which embody abnormal physical and psychological states. These abnormalities of existence manifest from the interplay of ourselves in our ordinary capacity, versus the occurrences of our daily internal fantasy lives. Fantasy, referring to our mind, soul and body’s intangible, yet real and deep felt phantom world, not sensed by others. These internal phantoms range from our darkest desires and fears, to our uncertainties of time, the fragility of life and what lies beyond this existence. I am fascinated with the mental forms that are conjured up from what we experience within pondering universal phenomena.

Each of my characters and landscapes, as well as their operations, is the representation of these flights of fancies we have as well as the emotional reactions and bodily sensations that occur from having them. It is not where you are or what you are physically doing in the real world that I am interested in, rather where real life places you in your mind’s landscape, who you are and what you are doing there. This is what I am interested in recreating.

Through my allegory of human behavior the viewer is given another realm of reality through my perceptions of what is irrefutable that is often felt but not seen in what we consider the “real world.” Thus, through the lens of my own experiences, obsessions and observations, I direct the viewers’ visions to the complex, deep-level, make-up of who we are, and make us dwell on what we are- the abject human.

Kymia Nawabi
Dream Home, 2011 acrylic, ink and watercolor on paper mounted onto panel box-frame 24 x 24 in.

On my most recent works:

With a growing curiosity for spirituality, my most recent works of mixed media drawings and sculpture showcase the beginnings of my research on Alchemy, Greek and Egyptian mythology as well as religions from around the world. I have adopted gods, mythological creatures and burial ceremonies from different cultures as a part of my own belief system.

With these new insights, I have invented a mythology of characters, landscapes and metaphors that symbolize death, the afterlife, rebirth, spirits and souls. Ideas such as the philosopher’s stone, a substance that allows base metal to be turned into gold, and the Ouroboros symbolizing eternal rebirth, for example, all materialize within my allegorical works. In these poignant drawings with life-size characters, I present the viewer with moments of enlightened, transcendental states of our existence, and perhaps what happens to us as we pass on.

Kymia Nawabi
...all in one, 2004 acrylic and sculpey 4 x 21 x 3 in.

sVA: Are there any features of your work that are discomforting, for yourself or your viewer?

For myself – never. For the viewer, there used to be. During graduate school I received such wonderful constructive criticism on my work that made me see and make things differently, for the better. For quite some time, I was making a ton of self-portraiture with imagery that was difficult for my viewer to enter. For example, the expression on my face in the drawing would be painful to look at, or the sadness portrayed in my painting would become overwhelming. It was brought to my attention by Professor Richard Heipp that it was, “too much of Kymia in anguish.” He challenged me to speak of the same experiences but with imagery that could leave the works more open-ended and open period for the viewer. This unleashed a whole new way of making art for me. As soon as I removed my portrait, as well as the obvious “one-liners,” my work opened up to a totally new mythology of characters and panoramas that described my life experiences infinitely better. The works became less about a self-portrait and more about the world I lived in, which others found a relationship to in the most spectacularly interesting way.

sVA: What is next on your agenda?

My agenda is plain but not simple: to make work. I cannot wait to get into the studio!

For more information on Kymia Nawabi, please visit her website http://www.kymianawabi.com/