Interview with Fernando Herenu (Aka Pulpocorporate) by Max Evry.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1977, Fernando Hereñú has created work that straddles the line between fine-art and illustration, psychoanalytical and pure fun. Using monochromatic tints and inking techniques that evoke the “Zap Comics”-era underground cartoonists of the 70’s as well as the pop surrealists of today, Hereñú (aka Pulpo) uses hallucinatory imagery to create mysterious yet unified motifs and symbols that tap a direct line into his subconscious. Fernando’s show at Tache Gallery in New York City recently closed, and during his free time we took this opportunity to find out what makes the man tick.

Max Evry: How does your experience as a Latin American inform your art?

Fernando Herenu (Aka Pulpocorporate): Much of my experience has to do traveling around the different regions. At first I had the strong feeling that my work had nothing to do with Latin American style, but every day that passes I realize it would be impossible to believe that my drawings come from another region.  I feel I have a strong presence of Latin spirit in my stuff. I see this as the greatest pride for me. All the different publications and exhibitions gave me this conclusion and have led to me being able to exhibit in Berlin, New York, Barcelona, Porto Alegre and Taiwan and to be published in Communication Art, Juxtapoz, Zupi and Xfunz among others.

ME: Much of your work is based in illustration. Which illustrators have you been inspired by over the years?

FH: I am greatly inspired by artists like Bruce Timm, Arthur de Pins and Erte. Just to name a few of them. I’m  inspired by a fine art and  entertainment art at the same time. I feel Robert Crumb is as great artist as Gustav Klimt. Basically I love the picture drawings in all expressions. I do not care where they are; comic book or a big gallery. Many times when I start a drawing I feel that I’m drawing to concept art to a movie.

ME: Do you consider yourself more of an illustrator or a fine-artist? Do you even make that distinction?

FH: This question is all the time present. But I feel that art changes a lot and before long the people will not make these distinctions. I feel this.

ME: What sort of work did you do at Cartoon Network/Adult Swim? Of this more commercial work, what are you the most proud of? The least? Did you adapt easily to a corporate environment?

FH: My job was more design packs for the channel. I worked for the channel’s image. I started doing some drawings in Cartoon Network one day and finally I was there for four years. I think my adaptation to the corporate world was very good, since in many cases corporate values and respects creativity.
I felt very respected in my style and my decisions. I felt at this time that I could live from my art for first time. Also I learned a lot about traditional drawing cartoons. It is an industry where there are thousands of great artists contributing to a collective project. There I could see the magical union between art and industry.

ME: Do your pieces have specific themes or emotions you’re trying to evoke, or are they created more stream-of-consciousness? Tell us about where your ideas come from.

FH: All my drawings evoke a very deep and psychoanalytic universe. My world is about images not words. So I decided to draw instead of talk.

ME: You seem particularly fixated on faces, often disembodied. What draws you to this imagery?

FH: I feel that the faces are the expressions of beauty and ugliness. I feel it is somewhat difficult to [judge] what is beauty or ugliness in the face. For now I feel that the body is something that is outside of us. I feel that everything is in the face. All feelings and conflicts are more quickly in the eyes and face.

ME: There’s also a reoccurring motif of pattern textures, especially checkerboard, and the color red. What emotion do these choices bring in you?

FH: I am a designer more than illustrator. I am a lover of textures and artistic concepts. I am a lover of abstraction too. I think [of] my works as a composition in which the textures are an important part. Somehow in the textures I feel myself more liberated from the form of the drawing. The abstraction and texture are in the place where I can fly.

ME: What do you find appealing about monsters?

FH: I think at this moment the world is in an absolute sense of global terror. I think there are moments in history [where] hopelessness and fear are stronger. I think the world is going through [that] now. Just seeing this makes  monsters are attractive. Modern society has shown us that [are current path is not] happiness and is finally taking us to the most abject poverty and war. I think that’s why my monsters are attractive.

ME:  Would you consider yourself a Pop Surrealist?

FH: I think it’s clear to see part of the surrealism style in my drawings.
My technique and repetitive colors make them something related to pop culture.
Thats why some critics named my art as a Pop Surrealism.

ME: Where do you see yourself going with your art? How do you see yourself evolving?

FH: I hope to know more countries and places. And have the opportunity to show the Latin American style to the people who are interested. I would love to be involved [with more] Latin American artists. What I like is to find a Latin American art style without references of the past. Being part of the search of new ground for Latin American art.


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