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ICAS


E

njoying art over a bottle of

Red wine!

I have known John W. Mills for a long time our path first crossed back in 1978, at St Albans school of art during a Life drawing class John was a lecturer and our life model was Quentin Crisp. We next meet in 1999, when John joined ICAS - Vilas Fine Art, Letchworth Garden City as a gallery artists with his first exhibition. Our regular close meeting and conversation together over the years have been wonderful treasured moments, talking about his life’s stories and our passion for art over a bottle of red wine! We even share our birthday dates between great master sculptor Michelangelo's on 6th of March, John's on 4th. and mine on the 7th. I take this opportunity to introduce two of the finest master sculptors Donatello & John W. Mills in our second issue of ICAS art magazine 2019. Both sculptors have made major contribution in the world of International art. To follow the development of sculpture has always been intriguing, I therefore share the response to a question that I ask John.

Sunil - “How did the study of the sculpture of ‘Donatello’ affect your own work?” John - I was attracted by the sculpture of Donatello in 1976 when I first came across plaster casts copies of the work in the ‘Plaster Courts of the Victoria and Albert Museum’ where they stood in company with the awe-inspiring images of Giovani Pisano and Michelangelo’. I did not realise then, in my junior art school years; of the importance of this trio of Italian Renaissance artists was to become to me, I had not then made the choice to pursue sculpture as a profession. Many years and sculptures later my friend the French sculptor ‘Ipousteguy’ (Ipou) visit my studio and gave my work a very thorough investigation. Later that day over supper he looked very seriously at me and said, “John I like to work, very much but I see you suffer the same thing as me”. There followed a silence until I asked what we suffered. “No matter how much we admire the Italian sculptors, such as Donatello, Michelangelo and others we are Northern European our genes originate in the cold North and theirs from the warm South, and it shows in our sculpture! we make Northern Images, despite their influence we cannot ignore our Genes John!” I was a little shocked but had for a while been intrigued by my own subliminal tendency to make more slender figures than the full sensual figures of Tuscany I aspired to in my imagination as I pounded the clay. Ipou was quite adamant about this and kept pointing it out as we visited museums and I know to some degree accept his judgement. Art in the World's First Garden City

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John - Sunil in response to your question regarding the sculpture of Donatello and its influence on my work ?. As I grew older and the infantile feeling of awe, at the excellence of all sculpture in museums and to a lesser degree in the public domain, waned I became more selective. Not all of those sculpture were good in fact some were pretty awful, but the hard lesson was that you could quickly learn more from studying bad sculptures than the mediocre good, discovering what not to do. The very good will continue to encouraged high admiration and a yearning to compete at that level and that is where Donatello stand for to me. In my mind the sculptures of Donatello seem to favour the more slender northern European ’DNA’ rather more than the more voluptuous the two influences emanating from the southern ‘DNA’. Extremely skilful artisan demonstrating their mastery of all the different, disciplines and materials that the guilds of that day demanded of all master artists, expected to pass on their knowledge and skill to maintain the highest standards. The sculptures of Donatello perform at the highest level in this atmosphere they carry little or no bravura but always just enough for the calm depiction of human emotion, love and fear, empathy and strength in everything he did.

Delightful children (putti) to sad but strong old saints (the Magdalena and the Baptist,) with everything that went between those human extremes. Such as the power of St George and the commanding presence using both strength solemnity ‘Habakkuk’, to strength and elegance, ‘David’ I could go on. His lesson to me therefore is demonstrated in the way he tackled the challenge of making a powerful image from a beautiful subject leaving the bravura to others, but also beating them at their own game if and when necessary. I hope my struggle doesn’t show too much.

Sunil - Thank you, John, for a wonderful detailed inside from a sculptor’s perspective, it's been educational and also inspiring. Hopefully for all young emerging sculptors to take notes and learn from your experiences.


"He

may be said to have been the first to illustrate the art of sculpture among the moderns."

D

onatello was unquestionably the greatest Florentine sculptor before Michelangelo. (1475–1564) and was the most influential and innovative individual artist of the 15th century Italy. He studied classical sculpture and used this to develop a complete Renaissance style in sculpture. Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, better known as Donatello was born in Florence, Italy, around the year 1386 -1466. His friends and family gave him the nickname “Donatello.” The son of a craftsman Niccolo di Betto Bardi, a member of the Florentine Wool Combers Guild. The young Donatello was educated under the wealthy and well-known Martellis, Florentine family of bankers and art patrons closely tied to the Medici family.

Donatello's work was highly influenced by the revival of interest in the sciences, mathematics, and architecture that was taking place in Florence. This included the use of one point perspective to create a new kind of bas-relief. The figure was a central point of mastery, and he was in fact the first to reintroduce the nude sculpture, we see this in David 1440 a male bronze sculpture. Donatello had complete mastery of sculpture in bronze, stone, wood, stucco, clay, and wax. He was the first to illustrate the art of sculpture among the modern artists. His versatility and ingenuity would lay a foundation for many future sculptors looking to discover new possibilities. We get a sense of realistic proportion, emotionality, and expression from his figurative art. Three acclaimed Modern British sculptors who admired his works Elisabeth Frink, Henry Moore and John W. Mills. ‘’The sculptures of Donatello perform at the highest level in this atmosphere they carry little or no bravura but always just enough for the calm depiction of human emotion, love and fear, empathy and strength in everything he did ‘’- JOHN W. MILLS To conclude our fascination on Donatello the first modern sculptor, we’ve selected four of his most famous sculptures represented here as the foundation to modern art, taking the test of time to inspire and continue to influence future generation artists.


St George Killing the Dragon (1417) The most famous legend of Saint George is of him slaying a dragon. In the Middle Ages the dragon was commonly used to represent the Devil. The slaying of the dragon by St George was first credited to him in the twelfth century, long after his death. Here in relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. It had always been a problem for sculptors because it must follow a narrow path between the two-dimensionality of painting and the three-dimensionality of full round sculpture. Donatello introduced his bold new mode of relief in sculpture. The technique is known as schiacciato (flattenedout) and in it the plane is only very slightly lower than the sculpted elements creating the illusion of depth and figures moving in space. Schiacciato strongly influenced later relief sculpture. St. George Killing the Dragon is also famous for being one of the first examples of central-point perspective in sculpture.

Saint George (1417) A wonderful example of the human form where Donatello capture’s both qualities of Gothic as well as Medieval art. Along with his Saint Mark, the sculpture is considered his earliest work which displays his radical move away from the prevalent Gothic style. St. George is considered by many art historians as the piece which more than anyother changed the direction of the art of sculpture.


The Bronze David 1440 The Bronze David 1440 - 1443 is renowned for being the first large-scale freestanding nude bronze sculpture. It depicts David, of the story of David and Goliath, holding the sword of his defeated enemy and with his foot on Goliath’s severed head. David is completely naked,apart from a laurel topped hat and boots.


Marzocco Lion The heraldic lion also known as the Marzocco lion is the animal symbol representing the free Republic of Florence. As the legend goes, the Florentine Republic chose the symbol of the lion over other animals because lions are able to tear apart the eagle, which is the symbol of imperial power. The most famous Marzocco can be found in Piazza della Signoria. Sculpted by Donatello in the early 15th century from the fine grained gray sandstone of Tuscany called pietra serena, this Marzocco lion protects the red lily, the symbol of the city.


John W. Mills Lion series

Cage Lion Bronze edition

1/3 Study of the Cage Lion Mix medium watercolour & pen Ink on had made rag paper

Terracotta Lion Small

Art in the World's First Garden City

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John W. Mills St George

in

New Orleans Bronze 12’ high 1993 Commission by James Sherwood for the Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans

The 23rd April 1993, St George’s Day, in the courtyard of the Windsor Court Hotel, was the occasion of the unveiling in New Orleans of a large bronze figure I had been preoccupied with for about eighteen months. The sculpture is the image of St George triumphant, having vanquished two dragons. Why was this image selected for the project? My brief was to, replace a rather whimsical female figure quietly pouring water from a jug, into a doughnut ring of a fountain, and to make a sculpture immediately identifiably British. Considering the historical ramifications between the British And New Orleans I thought the subject of St George would prove a sensible solution to a rather tricky chauvinistic problem. It would give me also the opportunity to make an heroic image, a figure with some power and to have some fun with the fountain. Two dragons to give the narrative an awesome symmetry.The resulting image, I am pleased with. I set out to make the figure of a knight,that had some, chivalry in his bearing, and the presence of a mythical hero. - John W. Mills.


W

hat do we consider to be the

state of pure Happiness? The philosopher Aristotle defines, “The ultimate goal of human life is, simply, happiness, which means finding a purpose in order to realise your potential and working on your behaviour to become the best version of yourself.” we losing sight of the purpose Aristotle's state of pure Are in life? In today’s modern age we go

Happiness

about our busy life, unaware of the surroundings. We need to question more to stop ourselves from working on auto pilot, where our mind makes all the decisions, to increase our own abilities to think.

Aristotle describes this impulse as humanity's "Desire to know,". Aristotle presented three methods for classifying art based on the idea of art as imitation. The first method involves a difference in the means of imitation. In the first chapter of poetics, Aristotle wrote, "Just as colour and form are used as means by some . . .and the voice is used by others; . . .the means with them as a whole are rhythm, language, and harmony." These three elements, whether they are combined or employed separately, constitute the means of imitation. This definition provides a way to distinguish among music, poetry, dance, and drama These basic stipulations are that mimesis fundamental to our nature as human beings, that human beings are the most imitative of all creatures, that first learning experiences take place through mimesis, and that all human beings take pleasure in mimesis because all find "learning and inference" essentially pleasant. Since the focus of the poetics is mainly on literary mimesis, it is necessary for us to concentrate on Aristotle's understanding of the way this aspect of mimetic activity leads to the intellectual pleasure he assigns to art.

‘’We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an

act but a habit’’ - Aristotle.


JOHN W. MILLS

SCULPTOR TO THE NATION

Opens at North Herts Museum Hitchin, Hertfordshire, 23rd February to 27th April 2019 in join partnership with ICAS - VILAS FINE ART Letchworth garden city, UK. A retrospective exhibition of John W. Mills born in London England March 4th 1933, internationally acclaimed sculptor, lives in Hinxworth, Hertfordshire. John studied at Hammersmith School of Art 1947-1954 and at the Royal College of Art 1956-1960. He was a resident at the Digswell Art Trust 1962-1966. Made Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 1982 and was awarded the Otto Beit medal in 1983 for the sculpture ‘Curved neck Grace’.

Elected the president of the Society in 1986 and in 1997. In 1993 made the Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


John W. Mills celebrates over sixty five years in the world of International art. His major works known as his three national treasures in City of London, UK where completed over the last thirty years.

When your' re next in London, do visit John's famous contribution to Art!.

“Tribute to William Blake� in 1989, Blake house

My association with Blake and the research I put into preparing myself to complete the memorial on the site of his birth marked was a kind of turning point in my life. One of my hero’s William Blake, a great poet, printmaker painter and eccentric, during his life time was a figure fun or ridicule to some people. His life, his art and his appearance occupied my thoughts and work when I received a commission to make a fitting memorial to Blake for a new, but not very nice, building being erected on the site of his birthplace in Soho, London. The William Blake sculpture I made was a large relief 14 feet high by 9 feet wide made up in three panels, cast in aluminium and bronze showing three full images of Blake, each 9 feet high, showing his figure serious in mood striding across the panel left to right the first two cast in aluminium and then Blake cast in bronze striding straight at the viewer. - John W. Mills.


Blitz 1991 in front of St Paul Cathedral ‘ ’My sculpture has been the means of my meeting some of the Royal Family which has always been an interesting and enjoyable experience’’. - John W. Mills The National Firefighters Memorial ‘BLITZ ‘. It was erected on its site on Old Change Court, by St Paul`s Cathedral in London, and unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on the 4 May 1991. The sculpture entitled ‘BLITZ ‘ is the National memorial to the firefighters who lost their lives during the second world war, who Winston Churchill referred to as ” the heroes with grimy faces “. The small bronze that became the maquette for the memorial was commission in 1984 by C.T. Demarne O.B.E. ex Chief Officer of the West Ham Fire brigade, as a personal memorial to his colleagues who died during that awful war.


The monument to the Women of World War II at the Cenotaph in the Whitehall, in 2005.

Peace & Hope


ICAS - Vilas art Fine

Letchworth Garden City

established since 1984


INTERVIEW John in his studio with the finished cast for Tommy – a commerative piece to mark the centenary of the Great War

TO THE NATION In John Mills’ long career he has created pieces that sit at the heart of British culture. Richard Burton met the sculptor at his Hinxworth studio ahead of a Herts retrospective this month PHOTOS: Chris Frazer Smith

ohn Mills is looking at Brian May’s hands. One of Britain’s most accomplished sculptors has been told they don’t look right on one of the world’s most famous rock stars. It was his son who pointed it out. He plays the guitar. Not as well as the Queen legend perhaps, but enough to have an opinion. And like some, he’s not slow to offer one. Such as the football fan who once complained that the nose on his statue of the Newcastle star Jackie Milburn in Ashington, Northumberland, was not as he recalled seeing it – from high up in the terraces. But May himself is delighted at the way he’s been depicted. And so he should be. He spent many hours sitting for this past president of the Royal Society

of British Sculptors on a tall high-backed stool in the studio of John’s 14th century home near Baldock just inches away from the five-feet tall figure we are looking at now. ‘He did as many sittings as he could manage,’ says John. ‘About four or five, I think. His driver would bring him out and he’d sit here chatting away while I worked. I think he liked it here away from fans where no one would recognise him.’ No one? The hair alone would be recognisable to anyone under 60, surely. ‘Well one day my housekeeper did stop him and ask “you do know who you are?” He replied “yes I do”.’ So what did he say of the finished product – a bronze depiction of May at the 2002 Party at the Palace for the Queen’s golden jubilee – fist

aloft, leg in the air, guitar humming with a power chord as he played God Save the Queen on the roof of Buckingham Palace? ‘He thought it was quite animated. I told him I thought he was dancing. He said “I don’t dance. I was trying to kick the speakers (round) so I could hear the band”.’ May is just one of many famous faces to sit for him in a career that has taken him back and forth across the Atlantic and produced some of the most iconic sculptures currently on display in Britain. Such as Baroness Boothroyd whose phone call to book an appointment interrupted a TV chat show Mills was watching – with her as the guest. She sat in the same tall, high-backed stool talking everything from politics to her love of the local fish and chips. 4

Our grateful thanks to Hertfordshire Life Magazine article by Richard Burton http://burtonra.spot.com Photographer: Chris Frazer Smith www.chrisfrazersmith.com

John’s work spans the small, such as this characterful bird, to the monumental – all have a striking physicality

A view into the studio at John’s historic Hinxworth home from the 3.5 acre garden that is filled with his works

All material in ICAS Aart Magazine copy rights 2019 28  Hertfordshire Life: February 2019

Hertfordshire Life: February 2019  29


INTERVIEW

TO THE NATION In John Mills’ long career he has created pieces that sit at the heart of British culture. Richard Burton met the sculptor at his Hinxworth studio ahead of a Herts retrospective this month PHOTOS: Chris Frazer Smith

ohn Mills is looking at Brian May’s hands. One of Britain’s most accomplished sculptors has been told they don’t look right on one of the world’s most famous rock stars. It was his son who pointed it out. He plays the guitar. Not as well as the Queen legend perhaps, but enough to have an opinion. And like some, he’s not slow to offer one. Such as the football fan who once complained that the nose on his statue of the Newcastle star Jackie Milburn in Ashington, Northumberland, was not as he recalled seeing it – from high up in the terraces. But May himself is delighted at the way he’s been depicted. And so he should be. He spent many hours sitting for this past president of the Royal Society

of British Sculptors on a tall high-backed stool in the studio of John’s 14th century home near Baldock just inches away from the five-feet tall figure we are looking at now. ‘He did as many sittings as he could manage,’ says John. ‘About four or five, I think. His driver would bring him out and he’d sit here chatting away while I worked. I think he liked it here away from fans where no one would recognise him.’ No one? The hair alone would be recognisable to anyone under 60, surely. ‘Well one day my housekeeper did stop him and ask “you do know who you are?” He replied “yes I do”.’ So what did he say of the finished product – a bronze depiction of May at the 2002 Party at the Palace for the Queen’s golden jubilee – fist

John’s work spans the small, such as this characterful bird, to the monumental – all have a striking physicality

aloft, leg in the air, guitar humming with a power chord as he played God Save the Queen on the roof of Buckingham Palace? ‘He thought it was quite animated. I told him I thought he was dancing. He said “I don’t dance. I was trying to kick the speakers (round) so I could hear the band”.’ May is just one of many famous faces to sit for him in a career that has taken him back and forth across the Atlantic and produced some of the most iconic sculptures currently on display in Britain. Such as Baroness Boothroyd whose phone call to book an appointment interrupted a TV chat show Mills was watching – with her as the guest. She sat in the same tall, high-backed stool talking everything from politics to her love of the local fish and chips. 

A view into the studio at John’s historic Hinxworth home from the 3.5 acre garden that is filled with his works

Hertfordshire Life: February 2019 Š 29


INTERVIEW

Or the French actress Leslie Caron who arrived at his home in Battersea as a young starlet wanting to see if he lived up to his reputation, telling him: “If I like what I see, I will sit for you, if I don’t I won’t.” In the event, she did, and hours later, he was running her home in his Austin A30 van. Oddly, she liked that too, telling him she preferred it to her husband’s Jaguar.

‘The end result is often nothing to do with what they feel. It’s your response to them’ Replicas of all three sculptures sit on shelves high above the organised chaos of the garden studio of Hinxworth Place, the medieval manor house where he lives and works. They share space with others who posed for him and many who didn’t, from the jazz legend George Melly (who did) to the likes of Beethoven and his comedy hero Buster Keaton. Many others, from the stunningly statuesque to the mildly erotic, are spread all over his 3.5 acre garden, in full view of ramblers who use the footpath and occasionally feel compelled to request a closer look. He generally obliges, as he does those from schools. He enjoys the perceptive nature of

Ballerinas. John’s wife Josephine was a professional dancer

the children’s questions. All very fitting, given that it was a highly perceptive question from a former headmaster who put him on the road to where he is today. ‘You could say he encouraged me to leave,’ John recalls. ‘He called me in and asked me where my interest lay. I said art, swimming and girls, although not in any particular order. He said, if I can get you an interview at an art school, would you go for it?’ He did, and what followed were seven fruitful years at Hammersmith where he developed a love for working with clay and, in particular,

portraiture – modelling in clay to create moulds to cast in metals such as bronze. Now in his 80s he still works long days; starting at 8am and, regardless of breaks, often doesn’t leave again until around 7pm. The studio has every tool imaginable, from the many files, chisels and gauges to the pneumatic height-adjustable table. But there are no windows, except for those pouring in natural light from the roof. Unlike painters, he doesn’t rely on the diffused north light. He welcomes the shadows, and the changes they bring. But he doesn’t want the distraction of a

CAPTURING THE ARTIST Award-winning photographer Chris Frazer Smith, whose remarkable images illustrate this feature, has been chronicling John Mills and his work since 2016. Last year, he filmed a short documentary called Tommy, The Portrait Of A Sculptor, which recorded John’s creation of a piece depicting a returning Second World War soldier. The sculpture, cast in bronze, was completed on November 10, the eve of last year’s Armistice Day centenary.

30  Hertfordshire Life: February 2019

Chris, of Ashwell in Herts, said: ‘Spending time with John reminds you that his craft is an ancient one, going back at least 35,000 years and the technical skills are as challenging today as they were centuries ago. In the digital world we inhabit it is important to immerse yourself in a creative history that relies on human vision, void of digital intrusion to create powerful communication.’ The Tommy film can be seen at vimeo.com/190259747

John puzzles over the cast for Tommy

view. Interestingly, he also limits the time he spends studying his subjects. ‘I’ve always found portrait sculpture a challenge – to create something that is not just a replica but a piece of work which has its own qualities. ‘If you have too much time with a subject it can become dominant. You have to trust your memory. It’s much more accurate than you think. You may be working intensely on your subject but look away momentarily and turn back to find everything’s changed. ‘The end result is often nothing to do with what they feel. It’s your response to them. They merely become a reference point.’ He talks fondly of his contemporaries, such as Henry Moore who he describes as a

supportive friend, even to the point of letting him photograph some of his works for a book he was writing while he was away. ‘I rang him and he said, unfortunately, he was going on holiday but he offered to leave the key to his house in Much Hadham so I could let myself in. That was really kind of him.’ But perhaps a more cherished memory may have come while he was teaching at St Albans School of Art, something he did up until 1977. ‘There was a tannoy message for me,’ John recalls. ‘The whole school heard it. It simply said “John Mills to speak to Henry Moore”. It was a good message to get. I imagine that, in that moment, my standing went up enormously.’ 4

Just some of the many tools of the trade

Hertfordshire Life: February 2019  31


INTERVIEW

John puzzles over the cast for Tommy

view. Interestingly, he also limits the time he spends studying his subjects. ‘I’ve always found portrait sculpture a challenge – to create something that is not just a replica but a piece of work which has its own qualities. ‘If you have too much time with a subject it can become dominant. You have to trust your memory. It’s much more accurate than you think. You may be working intensely on your subject but look away momentarily and turn back to find everything’s changed. ‘The end result is often nothing to do with what they feel. It’s your response to them. They merely become a reference point.’ He talks fondly of his contemporaries, such as Henry Moore who he describes as a

supportive friend, even to the point of letting him photograph some of his works for a book he was writing while he was away. ‘I rang him and he said, unfortunately, he was going on holiday but he offered to leave the key to his house in Much Hadham so I could let myself in. That was really kind of him.’ But perhaps a more cherished memory may have come while he was teaching at St Albans School of Art, something he did up until 1977. ‘There was a tannoy message for me,’ John recalls. ‘The whole school heard it. It simply said “John Mills to speak to Henry Moore”. It was a good message to get. I imagine that, in that moment, my standing went up  enormously.’

Just some of the many tools of the trade

Hertfordshire Life: February 2019 Š 31


INTERVIEW

Chris Dorney/Getty Images/iStockphoto

I bet. But there’s more than a hint of modesty in that. This is after all the man whose work can be seen in the most public of places; from memorials to William Blake in Soho and the nation’s firefighters at St Paul’s Cathedral, to the Women of World War II in Whitehall, which was unveiled – all 23 tons of it – by The Queen three years after Brian May played on her roof. Others can be found at places as diverse as the Chatsworth Estate in the Peak District, the Ward Freeman School in Buntingford and Chelsea Harbour to New Orleans, Massachusetts and Michigan, where he held visiting professorships at the turn of both the 70s and 80s.

‘Women of World War II in Whitehall was unveiled by The Queen’ His work is known for its sheer physicality, no doubt partly as a result of his time as a swimmer and PT instructor during National Service, something else he has in common with Henry Moore, incidentally. That, and the influence of his dancer wife, Josephine, a graduate of the Ballet Rambert School. His work will be shown close to home this month when an exhibition, John W. Mills, Sculptor to the Nation, opens at North Herts Museum in Hitchin. It will run from February 23 to April 27 and feature a retrospective view of his work, including sculptures, drawings, sketches and prints. As we parted I couldn’t let an interview involving Richard Burton and John Mills conclude without asking the one question only those named after celluloid greats would appreciate. ‘I met him once,’ he said of the star of Ryan’s Daughter and Hobson’s Choice. ‘It was in a pub. He was very charming. I told him I am always being asked “are you the real John Mills?” He replied simply: “Really? So am I”.’ ◆

The Blitz – the National Firefighters’ Mermorial at St Paul’s Cathedral

John working on the head of Brian May

Hertfordshire Life: February 2019 Š 33


ICAS - Vilas Fine Art

Letchworth Garden City

established since 1984


VIP INTERVIEW

I am delighted to welcome Jake Fernandez Latin American born Contemporary artist, now living in New York, USA to celebrate his achievement in landscape art.., Jake we are honoured that you could join us in our VIP Creative Lounge for an exclusive interview

CELEBRATED

LANDSCAPE ARTIST ’ s

JAKE FERNANDEZ

Born in Havana, Cuba - Jake Fernandez is a professional fine artist painter of nature. His collection of works are captured in a variety of mediums from oil on wood panels; on canvas or linen, to pastel, to basic graphite pencil, black & white sketch drawings all in both small to large scale. One would wonder how an urban artist captures the very essence of nature while living in the city. His observation of nature to be able to convey order from a tangle of vines and branches in the woodland, trees, shrubs and bushes or the movement and the sounds of rippling ponds to recreate a balance of altruism and vision is a measure of his mastery of creativity, control, discipline making these qualities as his own signature and style of landscape paintings.

2001 First listed in Who’s who American Art;


I

t is wonderful that today’s contemporary artists are able to visit actual location and sites created by old masters of the past to produce iconic images for their paintings.

J

ake’s journey had an amazing turnaround from a visit to Claude Monet’s secret garden (Water garden of Giverny), discovering the new dimension of viewing colours and technique for his landscape paintings. For this we need to understand the science of parallax of light. One would describe the experience for the observer standing in front of his landscapes painting being transported to another world beyond the painting.., as if a doorway opens to place of tranquillity, bliss and a path of peace within oneself..,

Artist: Jake Fernandez Title: River Mandala Medium: Oil on Board 64 panels size: 96" x 96"


VIP INTERVIEW

Welcome!! Thank you for joining us in our VIP Creative Lounge for an exclusive interview.

W

1. Sunil elcome Jake!! Every story has a beginning and an ending... We want to go back to when the whole journey started..., What is the first thing that you remember painting?

Jake – Sunil It’s my pleasure to be here.., thank you for this opportunity.., Interestingly my first work of art was a pencil drawingI was 8 years old but my first painting was done from a paint by number kit of a street scene in Paris. The first "original" oil painting was my version of a landscape from a how-to book. I was 9 years old. Music was my first love but I discovered I had more facility in the visual arts.

2. Sunil – For the benefit of your admirers and newer members of your Art who would like to know..,

When did you first realize you were an artist?

Jake – Funny Sunil actually I realized I was an artist the moment I was aware it was an occupation. My parents supported my interest in art. I had a tutor at an early age. I studied under the noted Cuban landscape painter Felix Ramos. He was the son of Domingo Ramos' a well-known Latin American mid 20th century painter. Felix was a kind taskmaster and had technical knowledge and classical training. I painted numerous simple still life’ paintings and made countless drawings from plaster casts sculptures. As a young kid I was not allowed to participate in live figure drawing classes because of the nudity. Go figure! (pun intended) .


Sunil – If that was the case I would be sitting here introducing you as Internationally acclaimed figurative artist, perhaps this could be a new direction for Jake as you are already considering portraiture art?.., Very interesting that you have triangular influences in your work as an artist’s from European culture, to United States where you spend most of your adult life to your birth place in Latin America that makes you truly an International artist. It lovely how we can trace this link and fellow your progress by sharing your childhood memories that also played a role in the development of your own unique style and technique.

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3. Sunil – e all have our own interpretation of looking at artists' work but how would you describe your art to someone who has never seen your work? Jake - Somewhere between realism and abstraction random yet controlled. Labour intensive, protracted, multi-layered, multi perception, resembling a Rorschach Test in its ambiguity and perceived interpretation, Cartesian yet “retinal” by Duchamp's definition. At times tongue-in-cheek, but always fuelled by love. In other word you have to see it.

Artist: Jake Fernandez Title: Surf Medium: Oil on canvas size: 33" x 96"


Y

4. Sunil – our career of being a professional artist’s span the last thirty years this would mean you have a number of collectors and buyers of your work from private to corporate would you like to share by giving us examples? Jake – Yes! Sunil a modest list, my works in private collection of the Florida State Capitol in the Florida Senate Building, Tallahassee, Florida, Corporate collection include: Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, Florida House of Representatives in the Florida State Capitol Building, Tallahassee - Florida , PepsiCo - New York, American Express Corporation, IBM Corporation and St. Petersburg Community College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Artist: Jake Fernandez Title: Timpson Creek

Sunil - Thank you an interesting list of collectors, have you thought of having your exhibition over here in England, UK and also in Europe.

Jake - Yes! Sunil I love to have my first exhibition outside United States to open in England, UK and also to cover Europe. Sunil - I welcome the opportunity of working together and we could make this announcement in the near future.


5. Sunil - The next question is about our group and the work that we have achieved by bringing artists around the Globe to work together as Globalization ICAS and we are privilege to have you on board..

What do you believe working jointly we could influence and make an impact in the Art Industry?

Jake – a lot of things Sunil no seriously personally I would change the cavalier way that some people in the industry treat the artists. Many fail to realize that their very livelihood depends on the artist’s contribution. With the progress of modern technology communication has improved greatly. And I see Globalization ICAS offering all artists a larger platform working together giving everyone involved an opportunity to open prospects to a global market. Sunil - I am in total agreement with you this is the future of holding everyone together as one whole Art Industry.

Artist: Jake Fernandez Title: Study Water garden at Giverny Medium: Graphite pencil sketch


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6. Sunil know you are very passionate about art and you spend most of your working time to complete the next big painting in the making.., When you have spare time to yourself .., Do have any hobbies or other interests Jake – Sunil music in a way has influence my painting.., I love music of any kind. I "play" the guitar rather poorly. I have collaborated with musicians and included musical tracks on my video work. A lot of my understanding and structure in my paintings have been mainly influenced by musicians rather than visual artists. Sunil – Yes I could liken your painting to the musical notes, in rhythm; balance; and in harmony. I can also see how each colour to link with one another. We could bring another master French painter and draughtsman George Seurat one of the 19th century artist who worked with the theory of science & light looking at colours in the form of dots. The famous painting Titled: Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. You have taken this to the next level in studying the behaviour of light through series of optical lenses. Brilliant execution of light and shades I must say.., breaking the light pattern into Individual shades of colours.


7. Sunil - Leading onto my next question if I was to put you on the spot to describe yourself in 3 words; can you tell me and one has to be a colour? Jake – Certainly Sunil I would say.., Very-Curious-Grey Sunil – This question relate to your personality and character and I presume throughout your life you had to work hard to get where you are today!! That will explain your desire of expecting only the best out of Life!!! Curious is the trade that your learn to master to become eager from your early childhood wanting to grasp at all knowledge as much as possible about a particular subject; being inquisitive minded to accomplished the standards that you set for yourself; Going back to our discussion about how you start a painting your refer to like a detective wanting to see the whole picture without leaving anything out. And finally Grey is the symbol for security, maturity and dependability. It connotes responsibility and conservative practicality. And also in relation to you painting we could see how the colour grey place an intricate part from your black & white sketches to rich realistic paintings of nature, grey use as a balance to the palette of colours that you used to increase the energy flow creating movement, as well as emotion, warmth in places to highlight a particular colours of your painting. Very mesmerizing!!!

Artist: Jake Fernandez Title: Rapids Medium: Conte pencil on paper


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8. Sunil – t’s been an interesting journey to celebrate your achievements and to appreciate how you perfected your own style. For all your admirers and members who are following our interview can you tell us your perfect scenario for painting? Jake – Sunil it depends on the project. For my "La Finca de Parchman" painting it would be a 13ft x 21ft bamboo cage. The tiger cage serves not to “incarcerate” the artist but rather to keep outside influences from interfering with the work. At its foundation “La Finca de Parchman” is an experiment in selfimposed isolation. I plan to remain confined to the cage as long as necessary to finish a 7ft x7ft painting (months perhaps). This piece will be based on fragments and memories from the infamous Parchman Farm a Mississippi prison from which I've been inspired but never housed.


9. Sunil – We’ve have a great following from artists around the World, also joining us here today for this lovely interview…

What advice would you give to new talented artists wanting to

become

successful like yourself, can you give them any pointers?

Jake – Sunil it my pleasure and I would like to break it down to the following categories in no particular order which ever one work’s for you!! Get a thick skin: You are going to need it. You will come across a lot of naysayers and manipulators that would try to discourage you in order to gain an unfair advantage or simple jealousy. One must be secure and move past these annoyances. It is not that difficult if you believe in your path, you will not be stopped. Master your craft: Only when you gain mastery of your craft will you be able to express and communicate your vision. The pleasure derived from the execution of a skill you thought to be unattainable is immeasurable. Keep in mind that proficiency and craft is denigrated by those who have neither. Imagination: That is our most treasured and intangible gift, our internal compass. It is our raison d'etre and our key to eternal joy and wonderment.


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10. Sunil – our experiences and advice to new emerging talented artists will become useful tool to guide them through their career, once again thank you for sharing.., We are now coming to the end of our exclusive interview and at the stage I usually like to complete our interview by bringing our conversation to the present moment if you could kindly share with us the current project that you working on?

Jake – Happily Sunil currently I, am working on a series of large paintings titled "Vishnu comes to Dixie" in addition to small related collages. I am using a square mandala-like format to transpose very small collages that I have assembled into expended large-scale works forming a “tapestry” of real, imagined and remembered elements. Stay tuned!

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Sunil – am delighted to able to cover your whole colourful life story from your earlier beginning to present day. It’s been a privilege and honour to be able to have this opportunity for our exclusive interview in our VIP creative lounge.., I would like to wish you continued success in your growing career Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you Jake Fernandez today's most celebrated Contemporary artist's of the 21st Century.


ICAS - Vilas Fine Art

Letchworth Garden City

established since 1984


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