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SOAPMUSE: COCO FERNANDEZ

// An "inexact" creative path

AN INTERVIEW BY AMANDA BALLERINI

When I first looked at Coco Fernandez’ work I was fascinated by the abstract way in which her pottery works took life and integrated in such an harmonious way with female bodies and spaces.
The world of ceramics, an ideal way to illustrate how pottery manipulate the matter, the time, energy and space to produce infinite possible works.
So it’s the human body somehow.
The mind calls forth its tool, the human body, to produce art by controlling energy, space and time.
And finally releasing them.
For this #soapmuse  I had the pleasure to have a lil chat with the artist Coco Fernandez, expanding her horizons and ours with an art that cannot – and doesn’t need – to be classified.

Amanda. To get it started, how would you define your work in 3 words?
Coco. Simple, Abstract and creative.

Amanda. I find it quite interesting how combining arts and fashion nowadays became so natural, as if it is the most organic act to associate one with the other in an image/campaign.  How do you think collaborations help the two brands to “stand out together”?
Coco. I think it’s very nice what happens with this. It is very cool to be able to do some creative work with another brand that you admire and that as a result you both grow and nurture yourself with this. The fact that it happens a lot today it’s just amazing. It is the perfect way to make my work more valuable and make theirs too hopefully.

Amanda. How does an environment like Spain, and especially Valencia, influence and contaminate your work?
Coco. I am not living in Valencia, but I’m always there, it’s the place where I’ve lived for many years and it gives me security when it comes to doing things and thinking about ideas…The truth is that I am also surrounded by creative people who motivate me and I like to work with them. They and the environment really make the difference.

Amanda. Do you collaborate with some local artisans?
Coco. Yes, I am currently working with local artists and artisans. For example with Cadascu?, they are some guys with a very nice project with recycled woods and super nice shapes. Now we are working on a collaboration for an exhibition in Pepita Lumier, a gallery in Valencia.

Amanda. You talk about your “pure lines” like a kind of epiphany in your artistic life. How does that moment feel, when you start following your hand impulse and give up perfection?
Coco. The truth is that I’ve always been drawing and doing creative things, it’s something I’ve always needed. For a long time I used to make very realistic drawings because I thought it was what I liked to do.  Then I started to grow and I realised that this type of drawing did not motivate me and also made me feel bad because I was very frustrated with that perfection that I never reached.
I stopped drawing for a while, and without realising it I started a style to feel comfortable with and finally break free without that feeling of overwhelm. I just painted and everything flowed.
Now I think that creativity is about feeling more, something that has to be positive and makes you feel good somehow.

Amanda. Fauvism, the style you mentioned to be as your greatest inspiration in the last period of time, focuses on the artist’s direct experience of his subjects, his emotional response to nature, and his intuition more than academic theory or elevated subject matter. 
How is your personal approach to the “subject” when starting to paint?
Coco. I am a very curious person, I am always looking at everything, I have everyday things that remain in my retina for some reason and then when I go to paint, they reappear in my head. That’s the magic of memory and imagination.

Amanda. How did you approach the pottery universe? It seems really something valuable in today’s art scenario to see people wanting to work with their hands “dirtying” themselves practising classical techniques.
Coco. I love ceramics,I’ve wanted to try this for a long time and one day the occasion occurred with a craftsman, I saw his pieces and I thought that right now it was the time to start too. And it still feels right and relevant like you say…

Amanda. How important is the sense of touch in your everyday’s life?
Coco. Waw, I think it’s everything! The skin of the orange, the sand of the sea, or simply the air passing between your fingers! No doubt without touch nothing would have the same meaning, especially to me.

Amanda. Nudity and pottery seem to share more than what we tend to think. A certain honesty perhaps. How do they remind me of each other according to you?
Coco. I do not know why, I think there is a certain relationship between the shapes of some ceramics and the female body in particular. I like to look and compare their curves, the harmony of one associated to the other, the organicity between the inanimate and the animate perhaps.

Amanda. How would you describe your personal matissesque “bonheur de vivre” ?
Coco. My personal “bonheur de vivre” is based on living day to day without worrying about overwhelming myself for the future, being able to do creative things that inspire me and motivate me because the truth is that when someone is motivated, everything is better. And life’s problems seem also smaller in a way.

Amanda. A movie, a book and something else that inspired you lately.
Coco. I have many favourite movies, but one of my favourites is The Goonies.
Of books I could also tell you many, but I will tell you the last one I am reading that I am delighted with the edition of the book and certainly with the content, the book of Gloria Fuertes by Blakie Books.
Regarding something that inspired me lately… certainly the colour blocks, when in the same objects there are different tones of that same colour together; it does not matter if it’s random ketchup or a wall, I’m obsessed!

Meet Coco here and here!
All images courtesy of Alicia Peirò.

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