Fernando Renes interviewed by Teresa Badía
XVI Muestra de arte Injuve, December 2000
Translation from Spanish by Rafael Llavori

Teresa Badía. –You distinguish between animation and drawing when you define your aims. Regarding the former you say that you “make realities” and when you draw you are making potentialities, “something that is not yet, but may be”. Could you clarify this various functionality?
Fernando Renes. –Any of my drawings brought to this exhibition is conceived as an independent piece. It has a meaning by its own, a beginning and an end. Animation, as a set of sequential drawings, requires a different working system, a harder discipline. Like in a brick wall, any of the bricks sustains on others and is supported by others bricks, like a piece in a puzzle. We might say then that the different lies when I envisage the final sense of the work, but it does not affect the intrinsic “being” of the piece. The movement, the essential feature of animation, has not higher value as regards drawing, it simply adds a different meaning. The drawing series that will become an animation, that is, the sequence of pictures in motion, is conceived to be part of a whole, whose sense is given by the previous drawing and the next one, introducing the illusion of time, a sequence through past, present and future, something it cannot be seen in still drawings. But this feature does not change the “real” nature the isolated drawing has from my point of view.

T.B. –The anecdote, the particular fact seem to be absolutely important in your work. What is its role on your working process?
F.R. –I have always related my working process to the picture of a flat plateau where different elements distributed randomly but intentionally develop at the same time. There is then a set of details that make a general picture with a deeper and specific meaning, but the anecdote is always there as an essential part of the “whole”. As a complement to this system I have developed the ability of a “fake maniac”. I act as a fuzzy person to observe details that I did not usually see. Buñuel said: “Poor who has not any craze”, so I use it as a method although it is not my nature.

T.B. –Your will to begin a work which you do not care its meaning, does it reflect your will for not going beyond the anecdote?
F.R. –Most of my works are a set of pictures and words that complement each other. Sometimes the picture makes the sentence and in others cases the sentence develops the picture, but both methods are unintentional. Very often, the spectator makes this relationship watching the work. If I like either a picture or a text that do not combine, I look for another better and the isolated element has to wait for a suitable “couple” on another work. Both explanation and sense of each piece do not exist beyond its obvious appearance. My will of transcendence is placed in what is apparent.

T.B. –Have you any interest to show your work to the audience? What kind of complicity are you searching?
F.R. –One of the most evident purposes of my work is the therapeutic one. I want to “make” an audience, sharing my work with them and exorcising them. We might talk about exhibitionism if you prefer, about the satisfaction of my exhibiting sense . I do not like the metaphor and I do not want that the people who watch my works think that I try to say anything else but what they are seeing. I want the audience to think before my work, but a personal, individual and intimate thought. I do not like the mystery in my drawings. I am not mysterious. I just want to be there, being exhibited. I use my works as a weapon, either a defensive or offensive one. If you have something in your mind and you cannot say it or do it, you fall sick.

T.B. –What are the communicating mechanisms on your work, or in other words, where do you want to take your audience when they are before a work made by you?
F.R. –When I am drawing I release thoughts and actions almost always by means of “amusement”. Humor, more or less evident, is inside the most serious pictures. I am satisfied when I see the audience sharing this releasing feeling that I had when accomplishing the work. Everything on my drawing is direct, there is what may be seen, nothing else. It is like playing the trumpet, the mechanism is very simple, just blowing while the air passes through the instrument. The blow of air expelled by the musician’s mouth and the note we heard are the same thing, but the artist’s intention turns it into something very different and harmonic. I am interested on the immediate nature of the process and  what I want to do with my drawings: getting with the stroke of my pencil what Clifford Brown or Chet Baker got with their trumpets.

T.B. –Do you consider the maker of the work as a producer or an interpreter? Or, do you feel the idea of art as a therapy?
F.R. –I have always thought if I use my work to show the things I am interested on and happen to me, probably people will say, “That was happen also to me! Or I have thought the same many times. That is enough to me.

T.B. –I would like to know your point of view about New York and the reasons that drove you to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Burgos.
F.R. –New York is the city that allowed me to change myself. I left Spain because I was not happy, I was tired and I didn’t like myself. I went to New York to like myself as an artist and as a person (in my case there is no difference). This is the city that has allowed me to increase my opportunities. The “conquest” of the city is an attractive challenge and requires me to overcome my own artistic and personal limitations.

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