An Artist's Evolution 1991-2017
January 12 - March 15, 2018.
Fernando Reyes has evolved from a San Francisco banker to a full-time artist, from a self-taught artist to a formally trained one, and from a purely representational artist to one whose broad portfolio now includes abstract art.
Fernando was born and raised in Fresno, California. During the summers he would pick grapes with his family. He would use the paper that the grapes were laid out on to draw on, as his family could not afford to buy art supplies. As a teen he enjoyed creating fanciful drawings of his sisters and cultural icons. At age 22 he moved to San Francisco, working as a banker for 17 years. After lying dormant for those years, Fernando rediscovered his love of art and took up drawing and printmaking. In 1993 he decided to pursue formal art education. He moved to Chicago in 1993 and enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 1997. He then moved back to the Bay Area. In 1999 he opened his art studio in Oakland, in the Jingletown neighborhood located within the Fruitvale district.
The pieces in this exhibition included works spanning from 1991 (pre-art school) to 2018. Among them, the viewer could appreciate drawings and paintings, primarily of the human figure; print work including intaglio and block prints; and work made in 2018 in which handprinted paper cut-outs are arranged to form figures or abstract imagery. In viewing these samples of Reyes’s work the viewer could trace the artist’s evolution of subject, ideas, technique, and style.