Manuel Fernandez, known as Kiko, is a French painter born in 1985 in Martigues. His native Provence is inseparable from his work. Particularly inspired by Mediterranean colors, he makes regular use of burning orange, so characteristic of the landscapes of his childhood.
Painting the emblem of childhood is what drives this autodidact. He who symbolically chose “KiKo” as his artist name, the pseudonym by which he was called at school. His representations of the early years evoke innocence, melancholy, recklessness, the youthful memory of a time gone. This theme captivates and fascinates him. Awakening the child who is in each of us, such is the effect sought in each of his paintings. Like a Proust madeleine, his creations remind us of our inner child, calling out to the one we would have liked to be, sublimating the one we will always be.
“My artistic quest is to create the sublime emotion that will awaken the child buried in each of us » KiKo
For Kiko, art should remain like a child’s drawing; from its realization to its understanding. He uses subjects illustrating the reminiscences of our childhood. The teddy bear, the object of comfort in which we confide, the toys with which we escape, bearers of our dreams, our doubts and our most intimate secrets.
The spontaneity of the gesture manifests the creative urgency, the expression of an unreflected world, preserved from norms and constraints. With a strong line, he sketches and shapes his world with such vivacity that leads to emotion and introspection. Each creation is unique; the artist refuses to use stencils. Freehand, he traces the outlines of his protagonists with Indian ink, depriving him of the slightest technical and aesthetic deviation. This is where Kiko takes part of an expressionist lineage. Nevertheless, he remains the worthy heir of the Pop-Street movement. As can be seen from his style as well as his use of the spray can and the sprayed paint.
Through his practice, Kiko questions the childhood stolen by an increasingly pervasive consumer society. By incorporating logos of luxury brands, he questions the melancholy of an adult consumed by materiality, ending up deploring the innocence of his lost youth. If the resin gives his canvases a brilliant finish, the artist reminds us here that the essential is always below appearances, under the varnish: “The important thing is the child, nothing else » .
In a few years, the “Kids of KiKo” have become great travelers. From Shanghai to Miami, via Europe, they have captured everyone’s hearts and are the subject of numerous exhibitions.
Find his work in our Marciano Contemporary Galleries.