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Fernando Osorio – Tangible Forms Aesthetically Organized

Some artists are born into artistic fervor, others have to grind and push through the tedious industrial lifestyle to find their way back. Cezanne could not get accepted in art schools, van Gogh started painting in his late 20s, Monet in his early 30s, Rousseau in his 40s, Gauguin started painting as a hobby to pass the time in his mid-20s, and Edward Hopper had sold just a single painting leading up to his 40s. In the art world, there is no shortage of late bloomers who, having no grounded sense of place or convention, find their way home and lead us through unexpected passages into uncharted territories. One such artist in this family of late bloomers is Peru-born, US-based Fernando Osorio.

Astraldance in Red © Fernando Osorio

From reveling in the tranquillity of the countryside to buzzing with a big city, Fernando had witnessed both sides of the coin by the time he was an adult. Brought up in Peru, he spent his childhood in small towns across the Andes and his youth in Lima, next to the Pacific Ocean. He moved to the U.S in 1988.

“I have been drawing since I was 8. I drew caricatures of my teachers; superheroes: Superman, Batman, etc.; cartoon characters: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc.; animals: dinosaurs, horses, etc.; soccer players and their shirt design; knights on their horses and castles”, he tells me. But, he took a slight detour when he decided to study engineering and became a professor at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima. At the age of 27, he returned to his childhood muse and went to study painting, drawing, and sculpture at the School of Art at PUCP University in Lima. In 1981, he started exhibiting his paintings in galleries. In 1986, he had his first solo exhibition at the Organization of American States in Washington D.C. After moving to the U.S, he continued to study painting at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington DC.

Trimurti 3 © Fernando Osorio

Fernando’s paintings boast an almost Fauvist love of vibrancy and passion. The foremost influences being Matisse and Klee, the artist moves through a carefully calibrated canvass that is almost hermetic in appeal. The work draws from several influences: Divisionist styles, Mondrian-esque captivity of lines, and the vivacity of primitive art. Unlike Matisse whose work is preoccupied with the underlying vivacity of the mundane, Fernando’s work is wholly maximalist. His preoccupation details the organic formulation and evolution of the material world.

Reminiscent of Matisse’s cut-outs, ‘The Creator of Love’ imagines four figures against the backdrop of a looming green and pink collage of foliage, birds, fruits, animals, and plants. ‘The Galaxy in Orange’ sprays orange against an unwavering, cold green and a sea of dense, bellowing blue. ‘Birth of Stars in Yellow’ details the genesis of the solar bodies while ‘Astral Dance’ details their dynamic contiguity. In ‘Creation Preservation Destruction I & II’, green, purple, and white intrude on each other while the orange rests stagnant against the violating landscape.

The Creator of Love © Fernando Osorio

Galaxy in Orange 1 © Fernando Osorio

Birth of Stars in Yellow © Fernando Osorio

Astral Dance © Fernando Osorio

Creation Preservation Destruction II © Fernando Osorio

Creation Preservation Destruction II © Fernando Osorio

He likes to work with acrylics. To check out his creative process, check out this and this. Elaborating his approach, he says:

“Art, for me, is an affirmation of the creative aspect of the human spirit. It is the materialization of the transparent energy inherent in the entire universe into tangible forms aesthetically organized. I seek to achieve order, balance, and harmony by appealing to differences and contrast among the art and design elements. My art digs into the foundations of a piece of art: line, shape, value, color, and texture. These elements, beyond their subsidiary function, have value in themselves, and that is what I want the viewer to experience. I consider color as a central character in my works. I would like the viewer to recognize the canvas as a stage in which those elements are living and interacting characters. I also like to suggest that the apparent unfinished parts of the canvas convey beauty. Another goal in my overall practice is the attainment of a synthesis between abstract and figurative art, the reunification of both. I hope my work triggers transcendent thoughts and emotions in the viewer —an aesthetic experience. Finally, each piece of art is a signal to remind us of the mystery and miracle of life. I conceive art as a means to spiritual awakening.”

Cosmos 8 © Fernando Osorio

Fernando Osorio published his first book of poetry in 1989 and second in 2016. He has also released two CDs of original music: Varita Mágica (2005) and Arrebol (2008). His dream is to paint exterior and interior murals and public art. Check out his work on his website or his Facebook page.


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