Nicasio Fernandez was born in Yonkers, NY. At a young age he found his love of cartoons, which continues to influence his work. He is best known for his thick, cartoon-like work permeated with themes of crude violence and slapstick humor.
In 2015 he graduated with a B.F.A from the School of Visual Arts where he was the recipient of the Fine Arts Award and the Chairman’s Merit Award. He has recently shown at Lesley Heller Workspace in “Young Frankensteins,” Field Projects in “Julie Spoke Softly Under Her Long Skinny Nose,” Stella Elkins Gallery in “Octotillo.” Nicasio currently lives and works in Yonkers and Mahopac, NY.
Where do you find inspiration?
I’m inspired by a vast amount of things such as my past, cartoons from any era, rap music, the sneaker world, American Culture, High and Low fashion, Art History and skateboarding. The artists and their work who inspire me are: Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, Williem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Robert Colescott, Peter Saul, Judith Linhares, all of the Chicago Imagists, Robert Crumb, Sue Williams, Elizabeth Murray, Aaron Johnson, José Lerma, Kerry James Marshall, Nicole Eisenman, Julie Curtiss, Louisa Gagliardi and Carroll Dunham.
How does humor play a role in your art?
Painting should excite, agitate and entertain in order to maintain the interest of a viewer. I feel humor has this capability. Dark and satirical humor is definitely an element that is necessary and has to be in the painting but never forced. Being subversive allows me to poke fun at all things, including myself. The world is so intense already, might as well get a chuckle out of it.
Can you talk about the colors and the unique textures of your paintings, and are there any special techniques that you employ?
Choosing the colors in the paintings happen off the rip, but with a rigorous attitude for getting it to be the exact tone. As for the thick textures, using paint in that manner happened organically. Every time I mixed a color I noticed I had a lot of excess. Eventually I realized I needed to start making more paint because there wasn't any left for the chunky-ness the paintings were becoming. To simplify what happens a good quantity of paint is mixed, extruded then formed using different palette knives.
What is the one thing you can’t live without in your studio, and why?
My imagination is super important for creating these chaotic other worldly images. As for as a tangible tool, I would need to say the PAINT. I am a painter so without it, I'd be really lost. I guess I could sculpt but in the end I would still want and need to use that seductive paint.
Are you working on any new projects these days?
Oh yeah I'm working on a couple of things at the moment. I’m getting into a series of paintings dealing with prehistoric times clashing with certain technologies and cerebral moments in history. I will be in the SPRING/BREAK Art Show with Anna Kuestera’s Project Space. I’m working on a skate video part for Commit Skateboards, and something called Fins Projects that I hope will be out later year.
Do you have any bad habits, and do they affect your work?
Don't we all? I feel as though I'm on my phone too much. I found ways of utilizing this distraction by doing digital drawings of works in progress. However, then I'll be scrolling on the IG feed trying to get some inspiration or looking to find what new shoe is dropping. Also since I don't have Spotify premium ads are constantly distracting the flow. All of this prevents me from working as fast as I would want to. I'll figure it out eventually to get past these habits.
Is there anything else we should know about you or your work?
My paintings are “Visual Rashes.” They disrupt the normal but give a feeling of satisfaction when coming back to them.
For more of Nicasio Fernandez's work: www.nicasiofernandez.com
Vincent CY Chen (born 1993) is a New York-based Taiwanese artist, who's interest in the human body led him to explore a wide array of subjects allowing him to truly develop an understanding of the opposing but not always contradicting polarities; interwoven between the structural composition and mental psyche of human development. Chen specializes in creating art that is true to his journey in exploring and defining the meaning of being human. These art forms include but are not limited to sculptures, mixed media installations, and performances.
Who is your intended audience?
I don’t work on my art with specific audience in mind, perhaps most of the time I’m the worst critic for my own art so I try very hard to make something I personally think that are meaningful and aesthetically pleasing for my own eyes.
What inspires you?
All kinds of stuff happens to human or I should say all animals physically and mentally inspires me. Growth and decay, life and death, mental behavior and illness, human beliefs and traditions from ancient time to modern society.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Tools are something a sculptor cannot live without, I especially like to think that tools are the extensions of human body. I work on a wide rage of material from foam to epoxy clay to 3D printing therefore there isn’t a single tool that dominates my art making experience, I would say my hands are the best tools and the ones I cannot live without.
Why do you make art?
I think the reason why I make art is same as the reason why I masturbate, it’s something I do out of urge and desire, and the experience undoubtedly pleasurable.
How would you describe your art?
I would say my sculptures can be described uncanny, I like how they all seem oddly familiar to me and hopefully to the viewers.
Name a couple of things that makes you happy?
Good food, interesting books and of course, art!
Do you have any bad habits? And does it affects on your art?
I guess smoking would be my bad habit. Every now and then new ideas for art come across my mind during my smoking breaks.
What kinds of books do you read usually?
Adventurous fantasy novels! Nothing sparks my imagination as much as a good fantasy novel.
Can you tell me about your relationship with your work?
I see my works as my spiritual companions, I feel like I make art just so I don’t feel as lonely as I really am, on the other hand, the transformation of the intangible idea in my mind into plastic reality proves that I was once existed.
For more of Vincent CY Chen's work www.vincentcychen.com