Sow &Tailor is proud to present Where I Go to Sin and Cry by Los Angeles-based artist Veronica Fernandez (b. 1998, Norfolk,VA, USA) as part of Focus Frieze Los Angeles (February 16 - February 19, 2023).
Veronica Fernandez’s latest body of work in Where I Go to Sin and Cry explores the fine line between reality and fantasy and the never ending search for solace. Informed by the artist’s past experiences, familial struggles, and inherited trauma, the paintings and sculptural installations invite viewers into a haunting psychological world where repressed memories emerge. Figures appear burdened, unhealed, and trapped in a liminal space where their anxieties, fears, and precarious futures are exacerbated.Where are they going? Where do they belong? And when will they get to their destination? Ghost-like entities lurk in the background of compositions, serving as metaphors for a dark mental state. In the chalky white sculptures, which Fernandez describes as “graveyards,” birds crash into cast-iron radiators or are pierced by umbrellas; once symbols of hope, these decapitated birds are now metaphors for unrealized dreams.
Throughout the artmaking process, which includes poetry-writing, sketching, and perusing old family photographs for reference, Fernandez taps into memories and the feelings traumatic experiences emit. Her dirty brushstrokes and the thick application of oil paint directly from the tube result in textured canvases where the artist’s physical presence is visible. Some of the imagery is grounded in reality: children are depicted running away from rabid dogs, making dream houses from paper lunch bags, or entertaining themselves in motel rooms. Other characters in Fernandez’s painterly world are figments of her imagination.Appearing in a purgatorial state, anonymous, chained characters walk aimlessly in a procession in the desert, stand on a mattress and row towards an unknown destination in a dark cave, or fall backwards in an endless descent. On a more optimistic note, light sources, found in several of the paintings, provide safety in the darkness; images of houses, referring back to the artist's experiences with housing insecurity, promise a future full of warmth and safety. Fernandez proves that glimmers of hope can emerge from these oppressive worlds.
Veronica “Ronnie” Fernandez (b. 1998, Norfolk,VA, USA) studied at The School of Visual Arts in New York City (BFA, 2022). In 2022, she had her West Coast solo debut When You Hold Onto My Spirit,Will You Let Your Spirit Grow at Sow & Tailor, Los Angeles and a solo virtual exhibition with Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York in 2020. She currently has a solo show at Galleria Poggiali, Milan (2023) and a group show at Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2023). She has participated in group exhibitions at Gallery Anthony, Chicago (2022); Sow & Tailor, Los Angeles (2022, 2021); Jeffrey Deitch Gallery,Art Basel Miami (2022); Spazio Amanita, Los Angeles (2022); Patrick Parrish Gallery, New York (2021); Hashimoto Contemporary, New York (2021);Tchotchke Gallery, New York (2021); Monti8 Gallery,Latina,Italy (2021);ResidencyArt Gallery,LosAngeles (2021);Thierry Goldberg Gallery,NewYork City (2021); Jenkin Johnson Gallery, Brooklyn (2021); SVA Chelsea Gallery, New York (2020); and C.R.E.T.A., Rome (2018). Her work has been featured in Juxtapoz, Purple, and Flaunt.