WK 1 – Artist of the Week – Ana Teresa Fernandez

IMG_0951Ana Teresa Fernandez

About the Artist

Ana Teresa Fernandez was born in 1980 in Tampico, Mexico. She was raised there for the majority of her adolescence until she moved to San Diego with her family in 1991. In 2001, she would join the Alliance Francaise II Diplome, Ecole Brilliantmont, Lausanne, Switzerland. She would also get herself more involved in the art world by first obtaining her Merit Scholarship for the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) in 2001. In the early 2000s, she would earn her BFA (2004) and her MFA (2006) at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), where she would begin teaching students how to draw and paint.  The main media she works in involving her art work is through the use of intricate paintings, where they are often mistaken for photographs. She now lives and works in San Francisco, California.

Formal Analysis

Her art work, consisting of detailed paintings and sculptures, is very detailed. By using many different color schemes, while incorporated texture and contrast of colors, she brings her oil paintings to life (again, often mistaken for photographs). From using vibrant colors to using more bland colors almost (incorporating a black-and-white theme), she utilizes her paint brush in almost any possible manner. From straight brush strokes to using more “wavy” styles, she does an effective jobs of bringing her paintings to life. By looking at her paintings you can see the texture, contrast of colors and a consistent, yet dynamic, display of lines being displayed on all of her canvases.

Content Analysis

Her artwork is very detailed to say the least. In the art work painted in the above posted photograph, is a picture of one of her art works titled “Bay Area Now (5)”. You can see a women perched on her knees facing away from a window, where you can see her shaking her head viciously. But why is this woman kneeling before us? Why is she shaking her head in such distress? One thing that Ana Teresa Fernandez stands for and explores are the politics of intersectionality and how it affects society and issues of race, gender, class, etc. Throughout all of her works, she incorporates this theme to express how she feels on the matter, and what she and many other groups of people deal with in terms of those challenged by race, gender and class barriers aimed at disenfranchising them. By looking at “Bay Area Now (5)”, you can see the stress that not only lies within this women, but women across this country as in terms of their never-ending battle with gender discrimination laws and practices. And in particular, women do in fact still face discriminatory laws in today’s America. Whether it be working in sexist working conditions or even being “cat-called” in the streets, it is still an issue of concern when a group of people are subjected to harsh harassment and even physical abuse. After all, it was not long ago that women were able to vote for the first time due to the enactment of the 19th Amendment (ratified on August 18, 1920). These sort of responsibilities, actions and issues should be addressed to everyone, and the discriminatory practices are alive to day are reflective off of her art works. By bringing her oil canvases to life (with enormous amount of details), she addresses to the public of the social and political unrest that people of marginalized groups face, in terms of race, gender and class, and shows of the struggle that they all endured (and still do).

Synthesis/My Experience

I really love Fernandez’s art work! Through her detailed, emotionally encompassed paintings in particular, her paintings are a strong reflection of what she went through in life. But not only her: she does an amazing job of displaying what many people endured, and what many citizens even in the United States face as in terms of racial, gendered-base and class-based laws aimed at dismantling the benefits and efforts placed on those being marginalized. Her paintings are a reflection of what women, people of color and those that live in the lower-class and in poverty face in every-day-life. Personally, I feel more on the feminist side, where I strongly disagree on the discriminatory laws in place today and how this country is patriarchal (“rule by the Fathers”), and love Fernandez’s art work, and what she stands for. She does a great job of presenting this in her art work, and it is in her art work that I would recommend other people to view it, not only to view the impressive works she brings to the art universe, but by also look closely at the emotions on display and encourage others to be aware (or get aware) from issues regarding the politics of intersectionality of gender, race and class. People are still facing these issues today, and I love how she continues to address this in her art work.

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