The Art of Fernando Carpaneda by Nicholas Forrest
I sometimes come across artists that I just have to let the world know about and Fernando Carpaneda is one of those artists, but be warned, because Carpaneda’s work is very confronting and will be not be to everyone’s taste. Those willing to keep an open mind and explore Carpaneda’s work will be glad they did because he is a truly amazing artist. A brave artist too. Brave enough to use rent boys, thieves, punks, goths, homeless people, and other unsavoury types as the subject of his work. If you are intrigued then please read on.
When I first saw a picture of one of Carpaneda’s works I didn’t know what I was looking at. What I saw looked like a photo of a person but had a surreal element to it that suggested that there was more to Carpaneda’s work than the image revealed. As soon as I found out that I was looking at a clay sculpture I was completely blown away. The level of detail and the amount of work put into each sculpture is quite astonishing especially for a clay sculpture. To give each sculpture a personal association with the person they depict, Carpaneda uses objects connected to that person in the sculpture. Carpaneda says about his work on his website that: “All his portraits are like a relic, a holy place, a moment caught in time. He uses objects that have a connection to the portrayed person to composing his work, such as cigarette butts, condoms, beer cans, underwear, semen, empty toothpaste boxes. In other words, things that are part of these people’s real world, and his own. He uses such objects and remains as a beginning for his portraits”
Most of the people we see on a day to day basis whether it be at work or at social event dress and prepare their appearance so that the look as one would expect a normal person leading a normal life to look. Most of the people that Carpaneda depicts, however, dress and prepare their appearance in a way that reflects their true personality. These are the sort of people one would normally want to stare at but would try and refrain from doing so because we are taught that it is rude to stare. Instead of depicting the perfect male figure that most people are familiar with as a result of classical sculptors, Carpaneda utilises classical methods and materials to construct highly detailed analogues of what many would consider to be the outcasts of society.
A classical sculpture of a nude male figure is an image that almost everyone is familiar with and is able to view without feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed or repulsed. A sexualised image of a homosexual male, however, is a totally different story. Carpaneda’s sculptures challenge our perceptions of gender and identity as well as questioning the labels that society put on people who do not conform to the accepted norm. Yes, his work is confronting and will not be to every one’s liking but it is undeniably the work of a talented artist who is not afraid of challenging the boundaries of artistic practice and confronting viewers with the issues of stigma and division in modern society.
Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many others.
Fernando Carpaneda is an underground punk artist. He works with clay sculptures and paintings. His main theme is always the human being.His sculptures and paintings capture subjects that reflect the extraordinary side of the human element. Homeless people, punk rockers, pop stars, unknown artists and outcasts are recreated to the minutest detail in his clay sculptures. Parts of the artist's own clothing are hand tailored into miniature wardrobes. In the style of the 17th century paintings of secular subjects, human hair and modern day relics are incorporated into each piece to reflect a sense of capturing a moment in time. The artist takes his inspiration from the urban element and uses the language of the street along with his own experiences with punk rock and street life. His bold artistic statement as a punk activist is painstakingly expressed through this controversial work. Often sexual in nature, his “In your Face” approach to the acceptance of sexuality and the Punk lifestyle are recreated to provoke and inspire the observer.
His voracious engagement in the cause of diversity and punk culture led him to exhibit at Art Basel in Miami, the Tom of Finland Foundation in California, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis and The Leslie Lohman Museum in New York to name a few. His works are included in multiple art collections, galleries and museums around the world while also appearing in publications as The Best of Punk Globe Magazine, alongside Debbie Harry, Jamie Oliver(UK SUBS),Sid Vicious,Earl Slick,John Lydon,The Adicts,Glen Matlock,Joe Dallesandro,Andy Warhol,Pauley Perrete also in Treasures Of Gay Art, a book featuring Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring, Jean Cocteau and many others. In June 18, 2012, some of his works were selected and exhibited at Times Square in New York, during the opening of the exhibition Art Takes Times Square. The works were exhibited in 10m² LED panels covering 23 floors (Nasdaq screens, Thomson and Reuters, Clear Channel Spectacolor, and A2aMedia's Port Authority) the exhibition was seen by over 1 million people.
Fernando Carpaneda was named as a Juror's Choice for Visual Art at the 2016 Seattle Erotic Art Festival. "The Rebirth of Punk" sculpture was one of three pieces of art to receive the award.
Copyright ©1982-2018 Fernando Carpaneda / Carpaneda Underground Art Studios New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.