Painting opens up the possibility for artists to focus on subjects that are often overlooked in the real world. Like other artistic mediums such as literature or music, ideas become more interesting when presented through an artistic perspective which painting allows. In my everyday life, I do not see furniture or material objects as the dominant figures in my environment. However, when such objects are depicted in a drawing or painting, their level of dominance upon my awareness shifts. For me, I believe this awareness originated from the habitual exercise of sketching everyday objects around me such as chairs, cups and walls. After many years of intense observation while sketching, I have grown to appreciate the relationship between material objects within a space. It is also fair to say that my work is influenced by viewing the way in which many other artists have depicted ordinary objects in extraordinary ways. It is fascinating to look at the different paths artists take when using a similar thought process as mine, only to end up in such a different place. I am often asked how I came to choose chairs and empty rooms as a focus for my work. I have always been drawn to “quiet” places or simple objects that I see as offering the medium of paint the potential to highlight and personify, further giving special significance. Another criteria that I have for my subject matter are the memories they evoke in me, sending me into a specific thought process that brings about introspection about how I personally relate to the physical world. At first glance, my work may seem meticulous and technical in its presentation, but it always comes from a source based on feelings or intuition. In other words, it always begins with an affinity for a subject or space and takes off from there. I am drawn to the idea of balancing technicality with feeling. I very much appreciate the abstract qualities of an image as much as its representational depiction. The process of applying the paint to a surface also holds a significant importance to me as I find it meditative, where I am able to get lost in thoughts and memories. As such, I tend to choose subjects and scenes that I not only find aesthetically pleasing, but that evoke deep thoughts within me. This said, all objects within a composition hold equal importance for me. Walls, windows, and floors as well as the light, shadows and edges have just as much to say about our relation to objects and space as do the furniture or other objects that might be found in a room. I also value the different perceptions other viewers of my work have. Those specific conversations often leave me seeing my work in a different way than I had before. For me, it is difficult to describe in words what affect these “vacant spaces”, depicted in my work, have on me... But again, this may be why I express it through the modality of paint and not words.

-Gabriel Fernandez