Fernando Renes, EXIT, por Alberto Sánchez Balmisa, 2009

Direct, simple, forceful sketches. Notes born of an unlimited, vivid imagination. Ironic sketches, understood almost as a catharsis. Drawings, always drawings, whether on regular paper or on the screen, animated through an exercise which requires infinite patience.

Narrative and the everyday. Life revealed. Life to rebel against. There where the object turns on and mocks us, where our existence is rarefied and the uncanny begins to filter into the cracks of reality, Fernando Renes works lie restless, far from fashion and market trends. Drawing on a myriad of references, without submitting to them.

Renes converts his pictures, at first glance seemingly innocent and unfinished, into fragments of a strange autobiography in which he unabashedly presents his fears, ghosts, moods, etc. to the public. The artist’s attitude resembles the surrealist search for the marvelous, the most unsuspected prolongation of reality. A reality that the artist lives, suffers and experiences in person, through drawing. A good example of this is his series Dibujos de un hermafrodita, produced after the artist moved to New York in 1996, where he still lives. It depicts his first feelings upon his arrival in the city of skyscrapers. Also exemplary are the disturbing works Sin título made before he established himself in the United States, in which anthropomorphic creatures are outlined on a neutral background, thus shaping an interesting reflection on the solitude and isolation of the contemporary individual.

The artist redeems himself from his obsessions and anguish through these sketches, windows open to an impassioned existence. Nevertheless, there is no room here for regret, and less still for self-pity. Quite the opposite, as the author demonstrates an extraordinary capacity to dominate chaos, to erect, from the ruin of our day-to-day routine, unexpected relations, witticisms, clever plays on words and pictures, as in the case of I Hate Metaphors (2001) and I Love Hiking (2002). Drawing gets a second wind as it is imagined as a critical stance, a tool for the construction of micro-stories.

A narrative intention that is reaffirmed in his works in the field of the moving image, with creations such as Couch Grass-Grama (2000), Everything Matters-Todo importa (2001) and 14 (2004). Works that arise as a product of recording thousands of sketches – a process that can take months. Works that only come alive in their phase, as they are being edited, and demonstrate that ink and watercolor, paper and screen can no longer be considered to be lesser media, but devices for intervening upon a continually changing reality.

All content © Copyright 2015 by Fernando Renes.

Designed by Harley Ricklin Productions