The Mexican Museum presents an artist talk with Fernando Reyes as part of the exhibition Fernando Reyes: An Artist’s Evolution 1991-2017. He will discuss how he has evolved from a San Francisco banker to a full-time artist, from self-taught to formally trained, and from purely representational to an artist whose broad portfolio now includes abstract art.
Born in 1954 and raised in Fresno, California, Reyes developed a love for art at a young age. At age 22 he moved to San Francisco, working as a banker for 17 years. His talent for art lay dormant during those years, but re-emerged in the late 1980s. Reyes began as a self-taught artist, and then decided to pursue a formal art education. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. He then returned to the Bay Area in 1998 and a year later he opened his current art studio in the Jingletown neighborhood of Oakland’s Fruitvale district.
Throughout the years, Reyes has produced a large and diverse portfolio. Until recently his work has been primarily figurative and includes oil paintings, drawings, and prints. Reyes has regularly drawn from live models that allow him to depict the beauty, strength, and sensuality of the human form. His goal has been to create contemporary work using traditional methodology. Reyes’ figurative work is about body language, the conscious and unconscious ways in which bodies communicate. In the past few years Reyes has created both representational and abstract works using paper cutouts made with his own hand printed paper.
Reyes’ work is meant to arouse the senses, to conjure emotional states, to enliven curiosity, and to instigate the telling of a story. This exhibition consists of nearly sixty pieces spanning from 1991 (pre-art school) to the present day. The works include drawings and paintings, mainly of the human figure; intaglio and woodblock prints; and recent work in paper cutouts of figures of abstract imagery. This exhibition allows the viewer to trace the artist’s evolution of subject matter, ideas, technique, and style.
Fernando Reyes: An Artist’s Evolution 1991-2017 opened its doors at The Mexican Museum on January 12th and will be on exhibit through March 15th, 2018. The Museum is located in Building D at Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123. Entrance is free, but contributions are welcome.
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Credits: Starlite, Hand printed paper cutouts on wood panel, 2017.