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Sylvia Navarrete

In the case of Fermín, stating that his creative experience is fueled by childhood memories is not a commonplace. Fermín was born in Chihuahua. There he simultaneously studied architecture and sculpture: with the second he tried to complement the notions of volume, space, matter, light and shadow, which are applied in the first. Ultimately he won the painting, “almost accidentally,” he observes.


Convinced of the need for public art, Fermín carried out passionate street paintings and devised mural projects. Disenchanted, he sat down at the easel and created semi-abstract landscapes in bluish tones, with levitating characters similar to the compact, flat men of the Belgian painter and draftsman Jean-Michel Folon, very popular in the 1970s.


These are the first steps of a style that in a matter of a few years was found and consolidated. Those naked and limitless landscapes that evoke the great spaces devoid of vegetation of his homeland, reveal a vision deeply rooted in Fermín's memory: “they are the great mantles of Chihuahua, the intimacy, the epidermal contact on the horizon of the sky and of the earth, the sky always below and attached to the earth.”


The characters, in Folon's style, were discreetly eclipsed to let the woman enter the canvases, always archetypal, multiple and unique - she appears in friezes, naked -, silent - her face is never seen - and protective of her.


The paintings are now structured around new scenes also born from precise memories: the bulls, with the fantastic architecture of the plaza as a theatrical setting, the arena, the attentive woman, the dead bullfighter, the crimson blood; the roosters and the suffocating atmosphere, the infernal shouting of the palenque where life and death, wealth and poverty are played; the angels and the crucified ones of that child “grandmother's son” who grew up in the bosom of the liturgical rites, of the smell of incense, of the altarpieces of the churches visited daily.


Fermín's images, more than narrative (perhaps they become too much so), are atmospheric. Color is one of the most notable protagonists of its language: blood reds – love, death –, velvety or silky yellows – gold, splendor –, smooth nocturnal blues embroidered with constellations, and its counterpart of earthy and sandy ranges. , project the contained passion of that artist who hides the fervor of his desires behind a reserved appearance.


Dreamlike and sensual painting, sometimes explosive, sometimes meditative, of images whose linearity and almost cinematic simplicity are belied by an entire body of nuanced meanings, painting of careful workmanship and deliberate clumsiness, Fermín's work offers an intelligent alternative to the neo-Mexicanist current of these last years.

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