Dex Fernandez

In his 18th solo exhibition, 22ESB75CC, Dex Fernandez sprawls the reach of the gallery walls—and floors—to unleash what is at once intimately autobiographical and universally expansive, a frenetic survey of the past two years of his life marked by the death of a parent, a serious medical situation, a confrontation turned violent. Fernandez transmits these events (and more) through the prism of his personal iconography suggestive of anything from cell mutations to starbursts.

The metaphorical beginning of this exhibition is his childhood home—the acronym of the title reduced into a code—in which his deceased parents transform into symbols merging into the environment at once celestial and subterranean. From this point, one proceeds to the mural dazzlingly chronicling the events of recent past, then onwards to the terrific replication of his garapata icon, then to the monochromatic rendition of the life of a party with its rhythms and erotic possibilities, concluding with a lone figure, crouched in a fetal position, floating into the void.

Everywhere in the exhibition there is movement, dance, the impulse to connect and disengage, as the universe of Fernandez keeps expanding: from the streets, to the bars, to the hectic textures of cities, to the evolving spheres populated with flashing gizmos and signs and motifs—staggering in scope, unstoppable in its expansion, hypnotic in its repetitions.

22ESB75CC pulls all the stops in bringing his paintings, wallpaper works, and garapata series in a new and unprecedented scale—a performance of a singular sensibility and seemingly limitless energy. It is a portrait of the artist, yes, but it may also be of the viewer, who swirls into the velocity and vortex of this exhibition, becoming a beating heart to the visual orchestra that Fernandez conducts, one that is marked by an immersive, tremendous, and never-ending creation, mutation, and transformation.

-Carlomar Arcangel Daoana


"Rheum "
5ft x 31ft
Acrylic and Silkcreen print on Canvas 2019
One of the most significant works of Dex Fernandez to date, Rheums is an immense, lush, and hypnotic field that chronicles some of the most crucial events in the life in of the artist in the last couple of years. This autobiographical approach unfolds not through a literal story-telling but through dazzling and kaleidoscopic imagery, woven into a tapestry of interlocking shapes, signs, and symbols—an improvisatory, exuberant performance in acrylic on canvas. It is at once an emotional and psychological reckoning of how the artist’s soul is transformed ferociously by violence, suffering, and grief. Staggering in scope and visionary in its execution, Rheums crystallizes the unique narrative and visual style of Fernandez, culminating into glorious repetitions of the garapata icon, an enduring icon of the 21st century of Philippine visual arts.
-Texts by Carlomar Daoana


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