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Gustavo Fernandes Paints A Surreal Universe Taking Root

Portuguese multimedia artist Gustavo Fernandes portrays a parallel universe in his oil paintings. According to this essay on his work, Fernandes had a difficult childhood and once referred to himself as someone who had lost his roots. Roots are a recurring motif in his more surreal paintings, where grape vines grab hold of mysterious objects, such as spheres, and perform a strange balancing act between earth and water.

Portuguese multimedia artist Gustavo Fernandes portrays a parallel universe in his oil paintings. According to this essay on his work, Fernandes had a difficult childhood and once referred to himself as someone who had lost his roots. Roots are a recurring motif in his more surreal paintings, where grape vines grab hold of mysterious objects, such as spheres, and perform a strange balancing act between earth and water. Some contain religious connotation as in his painting “A Criação da Vinha” (Creation of Vine), where roots embody two touching hands, referring to Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam”. In other works, forests are suspended mid-air in blue skies recalling the art of Belgian surrealist René Magritte, besides inspirations like Giorgio de Chirico and Paul Delvaux. Throughout his career, Fernandes has played with his audience’s perceptions between reality and illusion. His universe is presented as both fantastical and realistic with landscapes rendered to accurate detail – he calls it “Fantastical Realism”.


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