The Colorful Vision of Christopher Fernandez
Written by ~ Nick R. Murphy
Christopher Fernandez’s style is one of complex simplicity. Taking into account his influences and educational background, it is clear that he is destined to be one of the central purveyors of contemporary social realism in the Philippines.
Not content to limit himself to just one style, Christopher takes a multidisciplinary approach to his work. Apart from the socio-realist aspect, he is also a talented sculptor, photographer, and performance artist. His work has been featured in numerous art shows in both group and solo exhibitions over the course of the last seven years, which has allowed his creative methods to evolve and flourish.
Born in 1989 in Lucena City, Christopher Fernandez grew up in the backdrop of a conflict leaden political climate. Over time, he developed a fascination with aesthetics rooted in Quezonian sensibility and its relation to the history of the Philippines. This interest led him to ponder on the socio-political dynamics of Filipino society and the place of art in Filipino culture. That’s when his artistic instincts began to take full hold of him.
Christopher studied at Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation in the Quezon Province from 2006 to 2011. It was there where Christopher fine-tuned his skills and clarified his creative eye. He encourages its students to become as accomplished and diverse as possible through personal and professional endeavors. Christopher was able to take this opportunity and run with it. Using art as a means of achieving a greater understanding of the world by exploring the diversity of ideas, skills, and backgrounds that define the worldwide art scene.
Through his application of social realist principles, Christopher conveys symbolic compositions that illustrate the struggles of the modern working class in comparison to the convenient lifestyles afforded by those in power along the Philippine landscape. His work is a poised and dignified statement that offers a stark contrast to the ruinous social injustice that inspires it. In essence, Christopher’s art is meant to serve as an opportunity for individuals to modify their internal sense of calm as a means to tolerate systemic inequality that would, in other respects, be unbearable. This is the noble intention of every piece Christopher produces.
The topical nature of Christopher’s work, apart from its social realist conventions, is the pride it exudes through its devotion to Philippine history. It packs powerful values into a handsome format that highlights the richness of Philippine life. His expressive art harmonizes in natural lighting, smoothly engaging the viewer in the work. It creates a magical atmosphere indicating his understanding of the medium. He pays great attention
to the evolving character of the artwork over time. There are no unwanted textures, and no dissimilarities between the aesthetic balance he wishes to attain and the emotional resonance it represents. More than that, he demonstrates how these dualities are complicated. In certain ways, the juxtaposition blurs between the inherent implications of social commentary against the beauty of the work itself. Not only that, but the subjects
Christopher chooses are ambiguous enough to get his audience thinking.
With his meticulous method as a guiding light through his creative journey, it has led Christopher Fernandez to present his unique vision at multiple prestigious art exhibitions. In June of 2015, he was honored with his first solo exhibition entitled, “Pikit na Sugat: Tanghal-Sining ng Samu’t Saring Forever” in collaboration with Kataga - Lucena, which was held in Lucena City for two weeks. A host of other group exhibitions took place both before and after this event. Then in 2018, Christopher brought his talent to the masses with two live painting sessions at that year’s Earth Hour Philippines in the Quezon Province with the cooperation by World Wildlife Foundation. Over the last year, his work has continued to be shown all across the Philippines, raising his profile and cementing his reputation as one of the premier artists of his time.
To see the world through the eyes of an artist is a wondrous thought that inspires the imagination to heights one could consider unimaginable. To break the barriers that inhibit the average mind in order to become a true blue artistic visionary is an almost unendurable feat that most people can’t manage. However, for creators like Christopher Fernandez, it is a challenge that is accepted and respected like a friendly rival. Men like him fight the good fight to express abstract visions in tangible forms that would only be left to wallow in the recesses of the subconscious otherwise. And with a voice to back his vision, Christopher proves that he is a creative force that cannot be stopped.