Carpazine: Tell us how it was to participate in the Somos/WeAre: Latinx Artists of Long Island exhibition at the Long Island Museum?
FC: I was very happy to have been invited by curator Kelynn Alder to participate in the exhibition Somos/We Are. This exhibition is an achievement for the Latino community in Long Island. It was an honor for me to meet some of the participating artists and have my "Anarcho-punk" work included in the exhibition with historically important artists such as the sculptor Marisol, who was one of the Andy Warhol Superstars, and artists such as Freddy Rodríguez, Juan Sanchez and Virginia Jaramillo.
Carpazine: What is the message behind the painting "Anarcho-punk"?
FC: The painting "Anarcho-punk", is a work that talks about social discrimination, victims of hate crimes, and gun violence. I did the painting when I learned about the murders of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and I learned that the murderer was not convicted. I think this case is yet another injustice, which happens daily around the world. People get killed, and rich white murderers usually go free, or get the minimum sentence. This case is a typical example of what money and power can do. Sometimes the law doesn't work for everyone. Sad. The tattoos in the painting, show the names of some of the victims.
Carpazine: Tell us a little about your early career and the influences that led you to where you are today.
FC: I come from an Italian family but I was born in Brazil. I had my first exhibition of paintings at the age of 13, in the early ‘80s in Brasilia: the capital of Brazil. I came to New York City by chance. In the late ‘90s, I met "Dumpster", an American Crust Punk who was on vacation in Brazil. We became friends and I ended up moving to New York and living in the C-Squat on Avenue - C.
C-Squat and CBGB were two very important influences on the creative process of my works. My work has always illustrated the Underground scene, the Punk scene, and the LGBTQIA+ scene. In early 1995, I got in touch with CBGB, and ended up scheduling some exhibitions at CB’s 313 Gallery. A few years later the gallery invited me to participate in an exhibition called "Back to the Bowery". That brought together some of the remaining artists from Andy Warhol's famous The Factory, as well as new artists who portrayed the city's underground scene.
It was a historic exhibition, and where I met Billy Name (He created the design for The Factory, Andy Warhol Superstars, and was Warhol’s photographer) as well as several other artists from the ‘70s. I ended up becoming friends with Billy Name and we stayed in touch until his death in 2016. The CBGB exhibitions definitely opened several doors for me on the city's art circuit, and it was a turning point in my international career. It was also at CBGB that I met Arturo Vega, we became friends and we stayed in touch until his death in 2013. Arturo invited me to participate in an exhibition called The Bowery Electric Festival (A Tribute to Joey Ramone) with Dee Dee Ramone paintings. I will be forever grateful to have participated in those celebrated exhibitions.
Carpazine: You had an exhibition of your work in Times Square, right? How was that exhibition?
FC: I exhibited paintings in Times Square. The paintings were portraits of friends and acquaintances, my own superstars. The works were shown on giant bright LED screens and were displayed on the screens of NASDAQ, Thomson Reuters, Clear Channel Spectacolor, and A2a MEDIA’s Port Authority. The opening of the event was attended by singer Twin Shadow, DJ’s AndrewAndrew, and musician Questlove from the band The Roots. The host of the night was Jimmy Fallon of NBC's Late Night show and the event was organized by Art Takes Times Square. It was a unique experience.
Carpazine: How was it to have your sculptures in the film The Nearest Human Being?
FC: It was a fantastic experience to see my sculptures in director Marco Coppola’s film. It won an award for best feature at the Manhattan Film Festival, and it is incredible. While filming, my friend: actor Robert W. Smith, made the connection between me and director Marco Coppola. The director liked my work, and he included my sculptures in the movie. Also, it was great to meet Charlie Hofheimer. I met him by accident when I arrived to leave my sculpture on the film set. So, I saw this guy there, and said, “Hi, how are you?” and shook his hand and talked to him a little bit. It was only after that that I realized it was Charlie Hofheimer. LOL. He was very cool. Charlie is in two of my favorite films. Black Hawk Down and The Village. I was happy to meet him.
Carpazine: How do you view the reactions from the conservative part of society in relation to artistic manifestations in the contemporary world and issues such as sexuality and discrimination?
FC: Art aims to promote freedom of expression and knowledge, however, not everyone has the knowledge and sensitivity to understand or discuss the subject. Conservatism and lack of information are recurrent. Our society is formed by people with different realities and lifestyles and we have no right to compel people to follow our reality, just as no one has the right to impose theirs on us. Human sexuality is complex and it is not up to anyone to judge it. I know people who have been sexually abused by pastors, priests, and family members and they obviously don't see the world the same way I do - If an artist's sexuality bothers you, think twice before criticizing or discriminating against it , because not everyone has had the same life as you.
Carpazine: Tell me about your sculptures, you did some reinterpretations with classic art scenes. What was your inspiration to reinterpret Rodin's sculpture (The Age of Bronze)?
FC: I always loved Rodin's sculptures, and I always thought of making a hyper-realistic version of one of his works and I ended up being inspired by the work The Age of Bronze. My version was inspired by Keanu Reeves. I turned him into Punk Rodin. I have always loved Keanu Reeves, I like his character, his personality, and attitude as a person. I was inspired by a phase in his movie My Own Private Idaho which is one of my favorites. Eroticism for me is something natural and I show that in my works.
Carpazine: How do you see the role of tattoos in Punk Rodin?
FC: Some tattoos on Punk Rodin sculpture refer to the relationship between Rodin and Camile Claudel.
Carpazine: Homoerotic Art has always been part of the underground in the 20th century, recently it started to boom and to be part of the mainstream. How do you see this interaction between amateurs and queer art? Not all nude is art … or is it?
FC: I think that interaction and the boom in homoerotic material is happening in the same proportion as the boom that abstract, geometric or conceptual painting had. At the beginning of these movements they also suffered from the interaction of amateurs with contemporary art … not all contemporary art work is art … or is it?
Acrylic on Canvas, 16"x 20". Year: 2021
Acrylic on Canvas, 16"x20. Year: 2023
"Selfitis" (the obsessive taking of selfies).
Acrylic on canvas. 24"x36" . Year: 2023
Acrylic on canvas, 24"x36", 2023
"It's not a crime! It's not a sin!"
Acrylic on canvas. 16"x20". Year:2023
Artist Fernando Carpaneda was selected by the director of the Georgia Museum of Art, William U. Eiland, to participate in the Texas National 2023 Art Competition & Exhibition. The event will take place at The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and The Cole Art Center, in Nacogdoches, TX. Texas National 2023 runs from April 14 to June 30, 2023.
Carpaneda was also selected for the MADE IN NY 2023 exhibition at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York. A total of 320 artists submitted 480 entries for this year’s “Made in NY” exhibition. Jurors Gary Sczerbaniewicz, Theda Sandiford, and Kevin Larmon selected 81 pieces from 79 artists for the show. Free opening reception is 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 26, 2023.
MADE IN NY 2023 exhibition at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York.
Artist Fernando Carpaneda's work was recently selected for both The Long Island and Acrylic International Biennials. The Long Island Biennial is hosted by the Heckscher Museum of Art in New York and features works produced by contemporary visual artists from Nassau and Suffolk counties. The Acrylic International Biennial is hosted by the Kenosha Museum of Art in Wisconsin. This is the museum’s first international juried exhibit.
The evolving experimentation of Carpaneda’s style has been a hallmark for decades. The multi- faceted artist travels from sculpture to painting, from drawing to engraving, etc… The subtleties within his works draws the viewer in, making his creations stand out. Delicately the dialogues, dense with social taboo, are linked to the punk / underground / LGBTQ+ universes touching on: exclusion, race, gender, and social discrimination. He highlights common people, natural and real bodies. This brings us very close to his work and, consequently, to ourselves.
“In a world of exclusion, art is union.”
Carpazine Art Magazine
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Carpazine Art Magazine Issue Number 38 Featuring Doug Firmino! More: Sherry Karver, Valerie Patterson, Randi Matushevitz, Dominick Conde, Fernando Carpaneda, Melinda R. Smith, Collin J.Rae, Milwaukee Graffiti, Somos/We Are: Latinx Artists of Long Island at The Long Island Museum, The Hive Gallery: Line 12, The Sisters and many more!