From anchors to inks!
Manuel Fernandez, alias KiKo, is a French artist born in 1985 in Martigues, in this town near Marseille nicknamed the "Venice of Provence" which inspires his Mediterranean colors and more particularly this burning orange which floods many of his works.
KiKo has always had a taste for drawing. As a child, it is said of him that he draws as he breathes. With a single assertive stroke, he sketches the emotions that they do not express with words. School only fascinates him in plastic arts classes and his path therefore seems clear. But art is not a subject in this family of sailors who first have a passion for the sea and especially for tuna fishing. From an early age, KiKo joined the family tuna boats, giants of the seas 30m long moored in Port-Vendres, leaving his pencils for fishing nets; we do not leave the ship like that! Older, he will go to sea for many months tracking schools of fish colonized by tuna. He learns discipline, fear management, resilience, teamwork, lack of sleep and loneliness. To escape this harsh life of sailors where the sea constantly calls him to order, KiKo builds an imaginary universe where the childhood that suspends its flight there will inspire all his work.
The meeting with his wife is decisive, she is part of a family of artists and her father-in-law quickly opens the doors of his studio to her. He then reconnects with his passion and tries out different media on increasingly large canvases. It is the multicolored Indian inks that will mark KiKo; he was seduced by their fluidity and decided to divert them from traditional paper to use them on canvas. They give it a unique signature where street art is reconciled with expressionism, favoring emotion over reality. The drippings of black Indian ink, not unlike the symbolism of tears or blood, testify to a sadness gently contrasted by the gaiety of its colored backgrounds.