Fernando Renes at the CAB of Burgos by Mónica Rebollar
Revista Lápiz, January 2005
Translation from the Spanish by Laura F Farhall

The drawings Fernando Renes (Covarrubias, Burgos, 1970) creates are exorcisms of his own demons, antidotes against anxiety, fears and obsessions, accurate expressions of the courses the mind and spirit may take, straying from mere reason. The exhibition currently staged at the CAB, De Covarrubias a Nueva York (from Covarrubias to New York), presents simply masterful watercolors, depicting images that range from an elderly young girl to a bulimic attack that the artist uses to repel the nostalgic attack he feels as an emigrant in New York; a blanket of human muscles spread out on a bed, covering a child-fetus (Máquina esquizofrénica, [Schizophrenic Machine], 2003); a cake wrapper transformed into something organic –scored by a heart and the human circulartory system-, or a bar of chocolate seen as an oasis where one can rest from sadness and compulsions.

Almost all these drawings contain a certain amount of enigma and humor. Without eluding the burlesque, there is also room for learned quotes or reflections on the art world. For example, he reproduces a t-shirt bearing the motif of Duchamp’s posthumous work Etant Donnés (the woman whose body appears, laying between some rocks, with a shaded landscape in the background), alongside the motto “I love Hiking”. The secrecy and voyeuristic incitement of Duchamp’s work become trivial exhibitionism; art lovers are compared to hikers. Does this refers to merchandising in museums and cultural tourism?

Some of Renes’ videoanimations are also on show at the exhibition. In Todo importa (Everything Matters, 2001), two streams, like waterfalls, go from blue to red and from red to blue –the reference to Heraclitus illustrates how the constant flow of things (water) merges with that of each individual (blood)-, whilst signs appear one after the other: “Everything Matters”, “Everything Changes”, “Everything Goes”, “Everything Tires”, a skeptical conclusion.

All content © Copyright 2019 by Fernando Renes.

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