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Meet Fausto Fernandez in Sunnyslope

Today we’d like to introduce you to Fausto Fernandez.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Fausto. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a mixed media collage artist whose artworks include a variety of paintings, public art and community engagement projects.

I was born in El Paso, Texas and I spent the first twenty-five years living as a resident of Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. I continued my education at the University of Texas in El Paso where I received a BFA in graphic design and a BFA in painting. I currently live in downtown Phoenix and my art studio is located in Sunnyslope. I’ve also resided in Anthony, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California.

I started my career when I moved to Phoenix and began volunteering for the Scottsdale Public Art program in 2001 where I got insight into the process of public art through organizing files and archiving slides. For 10 years, I was a contractor and an employee installing exhibitions, art handling and assisting museum registrars and curators at the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Heard Museum and Arizona State University Art Museum. Working at these places was fundamental to my career. I met local and international artists, learned about the public art process and the museum environment. Eventually, I too, began showing in museums and creating public art.

In 2008, I was commissioned by the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture to design the floor for the Sky Harbor Airport Sky Train Station, a 10,000-sq/ft. terrazzo floor that was completed in 2013. I am currently working on a commission to design 6 panels that will be installed outside of the Hollywood Burbank Airport in California, which is expected to be completed in 2019.

My work had been shown nationally and currently one of my paintings is included in a show titled “Dress Matters: Clothing as a Metaphor” at the Tucson Museum of Art, which will be up through February 18. My artwork is represented by Turner Carroll Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a solo show of my new work will be exhibited for the month of February.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t been a smooth road. I’ve always maintained a simple lifestyle that has helped me navigate through some of the bad experiences. In the 9 years that I have been a full time artist, it took me a long time to adapt to the fluctuation of income. In 2008, I had to let go of my first home that devaluated in the economy crash and about the same time, I quit my full time job at ASU to focus on my art. In retrospect, these struggles allowed me to start over, become a full time artist, move to Downtown Los Angeles and allowed me the freedom to do artist residencies for long periods of time in Miami and New Mexico.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Currently, my business is focused on creating both fine art and public art. I’m most known for my large scale, multi-media paintings and site-specific installations created for different cities around the country.

I’ve produced public art for the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, Scottsdale Waterfront, Angels Gate Cultural Center, the East Rancho Dominguez Park in East Compton, California but I’m most proud that my paintings are part of the collections at the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum and the Tucson Museum of Art in Arizona.

What were you like growing up?
My first 25 years of life could be considered quite ordinary, filled with wonderful family, great friends and good schools. I remember spending time with my friends and family in the local shops, markets, restaurants and bars in Juarez, Mexico. At night, my friends and I would drive around and have fun dancing in the clubs from the age of 16. I was free to roam the city to enjoy the culture, as well as the best Mexican food I’ve eaten anywhere. Sundays were filled with family, including a large extended family and church. I went to Catholic school through Middle School. After high school, I decided to study graphic design at The University of Texas in El Paso, where I immersed myself in learning the English language and continued my experience living on the border.

I grew up loving skateboarding, so I spent a lot of my time with my group of friends in the streets. I think part of the reason of me becoming an artist was inspired by the skateboarding culture.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

4 Comments

  1. joe Willie Smith

    February 16, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Love your work. I visit your beautiful terrazzo installation at Sky Harbor periodically. 🙏🎉🎉🎉

  2. Sofia Larkin

    February 18, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    I love your work, Fausto, feel proud to own a Fausto original, and extremely honored to know you.

    Keep creating!

  3. Kerry Kugelman

    February 19, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Hey Fausto, it’s great to see you getting coverage and to hear more of your backstory! Glad you’re settled back into Phoenix (although we miss you in LA)

    • Fausto Fernandez

      August 21, 2018 at 2:48 am

      Hey Kerry, thank you for the nice comment. I just now read this response. Miss the LA scene too. !

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