Nicasio Fernandez

Artist Interview

February 12, 2017
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.

Where do you find inspiration?

I’m inspired by a vast amount of things such as my past, cartoons, music, American Culture, High and Low fashion, and Art History. The artists and their work who inspire me are: Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, Williem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Robert Colescott, Lisa Yuskagave, Peter Saul, Judith Linhares, all of the Chicago Imagists, Robert Crumb, Elizabeth Murray, Fernando Botero, Kerry James Marshall, and Nicole Eisenman.

What role does humor play in your art?

Painting should excite, agitate and entertain in order to maintain the interest of the viewer. I feel using humor has this capability. Using dark or satirical humor is an element that feels right within the work but never forced. The world is so intense already, might as well try to relieve some of that tension along the way.

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 happens intuitively, but with a rigorous attitude for achieving 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 mixing more paint because there wasn't any left for the chunky-ness the paintings were becoming. In the end a good quantity of paint is mixed, extruded then formed using different palette knives.

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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 a tangible tool, I would need to say the paint. I am a painter so without it I'd be lost. I guess I could sculpt but in the end I would still want and need to use oil paint.

Are you working on any new projects these days?

I'm working on a couple of things in the studio, the main one is getting into a series of paintings dealing with prehistoric times clashing with certain technologies and cerebral moments in history.

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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 at times by doing digital drawings of works in progress. However, then I'll be mindlessly scrolling on IG for way too long. All of this prevents me from working as fast as I would want. Hopefully I can figure out how to get past these habits in the future.

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 Fernandez: