Arts & Culture

Dex Fernandez Makes an Adorable Tick The Subject of His Art

Dex likens the resilience of Filipinos to that of a tick's

Soft-spoken and frail of built, Dex Fernandez seems like a fragile, benign presence among the art world’s more flamboyant, blusterous characters. But his art is anything but timid and delicate. Fernandez explodes colors and forms on his canvases inhabited by the strange creatures born from his own imagination. “Polarity,” he says, explaining the disparity. “Ganunata talaga; ’pag soft outside, wild and daring inside.”

There is also stillness about the artist, a sense of balance amidst the chaos of the real world. This too is evident in his works with the artist creating tension between opposing elements which he tempers with vibrant graphics without losing the artwork’s serious tenor.  

Fernandez’s practice encompasses both fine art and public art. Garapata, a character based on the fleas that once took over his childhood home, symbolizes the artist’s direct and simpler approach to street art. Of late, Fernandez noticed an unconscious merging of the two branches of his practice which he found disconcerting at first.

Dex Fernandez with his "Garapata"

Nag-meet sila sa gitna, in terms of theme, medium, and concepts,” he says. “Hindi ko matanggap. Sa sobrang spontaneous ko, ’yan ang kilabasan. Pero inaral ko... Ngayon happy na ako.

For Art Fair Philippines 2017, Fernandez worked on an animation project where random people,  both from the art circles and the streets, become participants in the process of creation. “Baon ko lahat ng art materials ko for that project, para maski saan ako mapadpad, makakacollaborate ko ang mga tao,” Fernandez says.

Together with Globe Platinum, the artist set up a booth at Art Fair that integrated an interactive aspect for guests to enjoy. Guests were encouraged to give the garapata a makeover, and each masterpiece was included in a live animated film projected onto a wall. The untitled project marks another phase in Fernandez’s artistic journey, wherein he has allowed the convergence of his two distinct practices. It also reveals the artist’s remarkable generosity of spirit. 


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