Cesar Fernandez - Community Interview

April 12, 2017 | 0 Comment

Cesar Fernandez - Community Interview

When people start calling a place paradise, it stops being a paradise! – meet Cesar Fernandez, an artist from northern Spain and long-time Bali resident. Here’s what he says about his Art, life in Bali and how it has changed.


Cesar, so nice to have you here! I am happy that it finally worked out to meet you. I am really excited to hear your story. Lets start of with what brought you to Bali? What is your story and why exactly did you come to Canggu?

At the beginning I came here just for surfing. I used to be a professional longboarder and a few of my sponsors back in Europe sent me over. Back then there were not a lot of longboarders here and the only good place for longboarding is Canggu. Batu Bolong has such a nice lefthander. For me Canggu is a really privileged place. It’s not the best wave but you can be sure it breaks every day, all year long. The wave is nice and mellow. It’s also really good for beginners, you know. But the first time I arrived in Indonesia was a long, long time ago. When I discovered Bali I was really surprised. It was really nice! There were so many creative people.

That’s cool! So in the beginning you just came here as professional longboarder?

Yes, just for a few months to surf and finally I decided to spend here more time and stay for a while. I mean it is such a beautiful place but also it's changed so much and so quickly. You know when people start calling a place paradise it stops being a paradise! It's difficult to explain, Canggu is still a really cool and beautiful place, I just hope it doesn’t change too fast and lose all the culture and the good vibrations.

Do you think it will become kinda like Seminyak in a couple of years?

I am sure. You can’t image how much Canggu has changed within the last 4 or 5 years. When I first arrived in Bali there were almost no roads in Canggu. At Batu Bolong there were like 5 people in the water. Now it’s like a thousand guys in the water (laughs). I mean I love this place! It is really special and I met some of the best people here. This is also one of the things that made me spent more time in Bali.

I can imagine that. How does Art and surfing go together? Were these two aspects always part of your life?

Yes, surfing and Art always go together for me. I studied Art before I came here and I think same as Art, surfing is a type of expression. Here in Bali, it is a special place because you can do both things at a top level. There are so many creative people around here and you just have the vibes to create something.

So Bali also helps you to find inspiration for your Artworks?

Yes, of course, Bali is really special. All the people who live around you are creative people. That brings up this atmosphere that makes you want to create. It’s really cool!

Surfing is one of your big inspirations as well, is that correct?

Yes exactly. When I make the canvas, I use the resin and the glassing like you use on a surfboard. I mean that is one of the special things about my Art. When I make a canvas I try to use things that are really close to me. One thing of course is surfing. For that I use the resin. With the resin I try to make new textures and different kind of shapes.

Where do all the lines in your Artworks come from?

The kind of Art I do is about mathematics. When I make one shape I don’t think about the shape. I think about numbers. There is a little history behind this geometric work. I sometimes feel like I am looking for something perfect. But there is nothing perfect. I think the geometrics in this world are something perfect. You can see it everywhere, the trees the plants you know. In your normal life you can see geometrics everywhere. I also think the project I got behind is the chaos. You know, Bali a place with two opposites. On one hand it is a place with a lot of culture, a lot of temples and religious places and on the other hand there is places like Seminyak with crazy traffic, crazy nightlife and stuff. With my Art I try to make something super perfect. Perfect lines and forms. After that I use the resin and drop it on the surface of the canvas. From that moment on the canvas is alive. I use the resin to make different shapes. It’s something perfect - the part with the lines - and a little chaos - with the resin -.

Did you come up with this kind of method on your own?

I did a lot of Art back in Spain. In the beginning I painted like everyone. But I found one way to… ehmm how can I explain this. You know, in Bali you can find really amazing local Artists. They don’t study anything but they have a really, really great technique. But what is the problem? Everyone makes the same! Exactly that, happened to me. I started to paint and make collages and stuff but that was not my own perspective about Art. After working with the strings the geometry I found a way to express myself. Therefore I found a way to express what I want to say. I started sawing and making the canvas. The products I use are more natural. I like the canvas when it is not bleached and has more like a yellow colour. Moreover the strings I use are the strings the Hindus use for making the Sarongs. I try to use products that are really close to me.

Another thing that I am really interested in is the process. How you start to approach a new Artwork. Do you always have some clear forms or shapes in your head or is it more a process that develops while doing it?

The creative process I start a collection with is basically that I think about what I want to do or express in the next collection. This can take months. All my collections are about the space and the vacuum.

Lets say you have a blank canvas in front of you. Do you already picture something that you want to put on the canvas?

Yes, always. I know what is the way that I want to go. You know for one canvas I spend easily one or two months. From the beginning I never know exactly how it will develop. I have some ideas in my head and I know the beginning but I never know how it will end.

Do you sometimes feel pressured by your work? You know, sometimes you have phases where you are not creative.

Yes, I often feel the pressure because you have to express yourself and produce constantly. That’s a little stressful sometimes. Especially because I always want to make something totally new. So you start brainstorming and stuff.

Is there something that you do in a situation like that, when you’re stuck and don’t know in which direction to go? Do you go surfing then?

Yes, I go surfing every single day. It’s a great time to think about things. But I find a lot of inspiration in the things around me. I go ride my bike or walk through the streets.

Are there any exhibitions coming up?

I have the fair in Tokyo in May and then Hong Kong and hopefully Australia.

That’s awesome! We are excited to see your new collection.