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A MODERN MARRIAGE | NEW PRINTS BY FERNANDO FEIJOO

February 8th 2013
I first met Fernando Feijoo when he was a printmaker at The Curwen Studio in Cambridge; I think we were publishing Antony Micallef’s prints at the time, so it would have been around 2005. One day while I was there (we spent many days hanging out in the studio while the Micallef series was being made), I spotted some work on one of the surfaces that I liked, and when I asked Fernando whose it was he said it was his. And so after looking at more work over the following weeks we decided to bring him on to Eyestorm as an artist.

It’s obvious that there’s a lot more to Fernando’s lino-cuts than just great printing techniques. Drawing on historical art and literature as well as present day urban society as his inspiration, he constructs satirical stories about everything from street-culture to bull-fighting (a nod to his Spanish roots).

His most recent series of eight lino cut prints - ‘A Modern Marriage’ - is the third and final collection of works drawn from well-known tales that were originally told by British painter and pioneer of western sequential art William Hogarth. The new prints are Fernando’s contemporary take on ‘Marriage a la Mode’, one of Hogarth’s best-known stories, which was originally told through six paintings in 1745 (that now sit in London’s National Gallery collection). Commenting on ill-considered marriages for money in English upper class 18th century society - a topic of much debate in Britain around that time - the story has been ingeniously transformed by Feijoo to make it relevant to today as these prints feature stretch limos, hot tubs, modern interiors and ‘Ladbrokes’ betting house.

The element of morality is the same however, and Feijoo’s works include elements of hope, humour and horror just as Hogarth’s did. There are also signs of the painter’s use of running themes and gags such as the loyal dog, fighting animals, different incarnations of the moon (which is sometimes sinister, sometimes benign), and rats, which run through sewers and invade all areas of human life. Another similarity between the works of both artists is the city as the backdrop for every scene, some with specific geographic references (like London as seen in works such as VIII Protecting a New Generation) others universal in their topicality to modern urban life.

What I love about these prints and Fernando’s work in general is its ability to teach us about historical art and literature while at the same time encourage us to consider the similarities between life in the past and the way we live our lives now. Yes a lot has changed and improved a lot in a physical sense over the past 250 years, but in terms of ethics, social structure and human compassion we’re closer to our predecessors than we may think.

See the ‘A Modern Marriage’ prints and other works by Fernando Feijoo here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
FERNANDO FEIJOO
VII Walking the Line into Oblivion (A Modern Marriage series)
 
 
FERNANDO FEIJOO FERNANDO FEIJOO
VIII Protecting a New Generation (A Modern Marriage series) I Youngest Sister to Crack and Charlie (A Modern Marriage series)
 
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