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b. 1984, Philippines

Dex Fernandez Biography

Graffiti artist Dex Fernandez is based in Caloocan, the Philippines. He is known for his iconic creation Garapata, and his psychedelic compositions that draw from street art, graphic design, and surrealist painting. Fernandez employs a range of techniques, from collage to freehand drawing and photography, to create layered portraits and expansive murals that challenge the notions of high and low art.

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Dex Fernandez studied Fine Art and Advertising at the Technological University of the Philippines before beginning to paint in 2007. His early Pop Surrealist artworks were influenced by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Salvador Dalí, as well as the Expressionist works of Paul Klee. He took to graffiti under the influence of the Pilipinas Street Plan—a collective of street artists founded in 2006 that sought to bring ephemeral forms of art to the urban landscape.

In the realm of street art, Fernandez first experimented with sticker art and, later, incorporated his experience of mural painting from his graphic arts background. The result is a labour-intensive process that collages a range of materials, from archival photography to tattoos, religious icons, illustrations, and adult magazines—an approach that has often courted controversy.

Artworks such as Good Morning HOBOS (2015) and Entrap (2015) are typical of Fernandez's fantastically chaotic oeuvre. Digital photograph of friends and colleagues are overlaid with intricate, neon-painted designs that transform the figures into garish masks or caricatures. Of his use of photography, Fernandez states, 'Picture chooses me and I am the medium from which the hidden picture is dissected... As much as possible, I draw pictures based on my feelings.'

Dex Fernandez's popular Garapata is a six-legged character that he developed while at art school, named after the parasite that infested his childhood pet dog and left a lasting impression on the artist. Garapata became the subject of sticker art and mural works that have taken over buildings and streetscapes around the world. VUVU and vuvu (2018) is his largest mural, and is a tribute to the indigenous Paiwan tribe in Taitung, Taiwan.

Fernandez has completed several international residencies, including at the Fine Art Work Centre in Provincetown, Massachusetts; Ping Pong Art Space, Taipei; and Art Center Ongoing, Tokyo. His work has been exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and the Singapore Art Museum, amongst other locations.

Amy Weng | Ocula | 2020

Dex Fernandez In Related Press

9 Must see artists at Melbourne Art Fair Related Press 9 Must see artists at Melbourne Art Fair 23 July 2018, Timeout

Navigating a major art fair can seem a bit daunting if you're not a pro, and this year's Melbourne Art Fair is jam-packed. There are 40 galleries showing work across venues in Southbank from August 2 to 5, with leading contemporary artists from Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. So we got the art fair's director Maree Di Pasquale to...

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The fifth edition of Art Fair Philippines is bigger than ever Related Press The fifth edition of Art Fair Philippines is bigger than ever 1 February 2017, Manila Bulletin

Now on its fifth year, Art Fair Philippines will set another record in its young history. Since it started in 2013 with 24 galleries and welcoming 6,000 visitors, the numbers have jumped significantly after holding its most successful fair yet in 2016. Last year recorded more than 22,000 visitors, who all enjoyed the beautiful artworks of various...

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'An Atlas of Mirrors': Ten highlights from Singapore Biennale 2016 Related Press 'An Atlas of Mirrors': Ten highlights from Singapore Biennale 2016 21 November 2016, Art Radar Journal

Organised by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), the fifth Singapore Biennale is titled An Atlas of Mirrors  and features contemporary works by 63 artists and art collectives from 19 countries in Southeast Asia, and East and South Asia. The mega exhibition, which had its first edition nine years ago, started with an international outlook but has...

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Palais de Tokyo's Secret Archipelago of Southeast Asian Art Related Press Palais de Tokyo's Secret Archipelago of Southeast Asian Art 16 April 2015, Blouin ArtInfo

Paris’s Palais de Tokyo is hosting a major exhibition of South-East Asian art as part of the Singapour en France – le festival which celebrates 50 years of Singapore-France diplomatic relations and Singapore's Golden Jubilee. Titled “Secret Archipelago,” the exhibition is curated by Khairuddin Hori and is at the Palais...

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