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Artist Carlee Fernandez in "Staging the Self" - National Portrait Gallery
Interview with artist Carlee Fernandez, her works are part of our exhibition "Portraiture Now: Staging the Self" on display from August 22, 2014 through April 12, 2015 ( ). “Portraiture Now: Staging the Self” features the work of David Antonio Cruz, Carlee Fernandez, María Martínez-Cañas, Rachelle Mozman, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira, and Michael Vasquez, all artists of Latino background, who make us aware of how identities are constructed and negotiated via portraiture. Seeking to relieve portraiture of its charge to memorialize individuals and convey essential aspects of their identities, they use it instead to explore the ambiguities and changes in individual character. Theatricality is central to their inquiry, as they represent narratives remembered or imagined from their own family histories, or superimpose portraits of their loved ones over themselves, looking for what is shared or unique in individuality, searching like an actor for a character. As they present themselves in a staged manner, portraiture loses its aura of certainty, and becomes an evolving map for finding oneself and others. Carlee Fernandez defines herself as a sculptor, although photography is often her medium of choice to explore familiar or fanciful three-dimensional forms. In the early 2000s she created sculptural hybrids of our consumer age by seamlessly combining rejected skins from a taxidermy shop with everyday objects. Works like Hugo Parlier (2001), a rhino-headed stepladder, emphasizes Fernandez’s preoccupation with shape and identity as well as the relationship between humankind and nature. More recently, in her Bear Studies and Man series, and her new work, The Strand That Holds Us Together, she merges her own body with beasts and with men she loves and admires. This latest series investigates the relationship between self, gender, and family. Fernandez earned her BFA from California State University and MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Her work has been included in numerous solo and group shows, including the landmark “Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement” (2008) and the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art in 2010. --- Music: "Feel Good (Instrumental)" by Broke For Free From Free Music Archive Used via Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License "Wash Out" by Broke For Free From Free Music Archive Used via Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License
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4 min 25 sec
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