Like many artists, Fernando Fula’s drive to create has been lifelong. “As a child growing up in a multifamily home,” he shares, “I would draw pictures and host exhibitions in my grandmother’s living room. I would run around the house notifying everyone of my show, and would charge 5 cents a picture.” Through the years since, Fula has developed a distinctive style that openly continues to evolve, largely focusing on the human face. His work often incorporates images of food and fabric that create playful juxtapositions in texture and color, highlighting certain features in his subject’s expression and muting others. Of his tendency towards portraiture, Fula writes “People always drew my attention, especially when it comes to the face; it’s a powerful feature. It’s very simple to create a face while still having the wide range of complexity that can be layered in developing one; it is what I have enjoyed most with my focus on the human portrait.”
When deciding on a new composition, Fula typically starts combing through photos and images until one particularly catches his attention. This, however, was not the procedure for his collaborations with Jamaal Eversley. The two artists met over five years ago at an exhibition Eversley helped to organize that included Fula’s work. His paintings captivated Eversley, and the two have remained friends ever since.
Eversley is known for his bold and blocky technique, employed throughout the ongoing “Nerd Meets World Series” that runs central to his oeuvre. The underlying narrative of the series revolves around character Spencer Q. Ward’s relationship with his friend Elvina Adams. In their work together, Fula reimagines Spencer and Elvina in a more figurative, human light against Eversley’s vibrant patterns and own abstract representation of the two characters. The result is a delightful stylistic collision that emphasizes the diversity of contemporary art and radiates themes of friendship, reflecting the rewarding nature of collaboration in art.
These shared paintings will be on display September 4th through November 1st as part of Beacon Gallery’s Real F.R.I.E.N.D.S. exhibition, which features Jamaal Eversley’s collaborations with numerous other artists and creatives. Outside of the show, Fula is currently working on another collaborative project that he hopes will engage directly with his audience and is probing the realm of online video art.
His recommendation to readers? “Take it all in and never stop”—though one artist whose work he’s especially appreciated recently is Riso Chan, @risochan on Instagram. To keep up with Fula’s work, you can find him on Instagram @fernando.fula.