Photography: Julio Almendarez
When speaking to Maria Fernanda Vogel, we could tell she is very sincere in the way she speaks, and that outside the art world, she is just an ordinary fifteen year old girl with many dreams. Recently, Maria Fernanda inaugurated her first art exhibition “Favelas” at Galeria Codice. These are a series of acrylic paintings that give voice to those that live in poverty. Life is now back to normal. After completing her last collection and exhibition, she has time in her hands.
The extroverted girl spoke to us about her other interests. This way we can know the girl behind the artwork.
How did you become interested in painting?
I have always been interested in painting and culture.
When was the first time you grabbed a page or a pencil and thought to yourself “ I am very interested in this”?
- It has always been a part of me. Since I was very little I had a fascination for mixing colors. My mother has kept many artworks since I started as a young girl. Maybe I had little idea of what I was really doing. I would spend my days drawing and painting. I wouldn't consider my interest in art a “discovery”.
Well, Since I can remember, However, it was two years ago that I started lessons with the artist Alejandra Duque-Estrada. It was with her that I established concrete hours dedicated to painting.
How many hours do you dedicate to Art?
With Alejandra, six hours a week or whenever I am free.
What is your favorite technique?
I paint in acrylic. I like acrylic paint because there are a lot of benefits when using it. Since it’s base is water, there are many things that can be done with it that cannot be done with oil-based paint. I also think that acrylic paint fits perfectly with the themes I paint. Techniques include anything from drip-painting, using the spatula to create texture. Acrylic paint gives a lot of freedom, and I think that is excellent.
Awareness and Paintings
You recently inaugurated your collection “Favelas”. What motivated the themes of the collection?
I have been feeling for a long time a social injustice in the country that bothers me. We can see an economic disparity everywhere we go, since Nicaragua is a very poor country. We dont feel the poverty because we don’t live it ourselves but when we contact that reality, it is very shocking. I began to paint and this is what influenced me.
What colors predominate in your paintings?
I like to use strong colors to evoke the message I am sending through my artwork. These are usually red, black, and blue.
Has painting changed your life?
Definitely. I now have other priorities. Before painting I always had that social interest. With painting, I know how far I can go, what I can express and why I do it.
Has it given you a voice to express your feelings for or against a cause?
Are you working on something new right now?
Since I just did an exhibition recently, I am still painting, but I don’t have a new project on its way. I am still not sure what the next step will be.
I can see that you are working on something new. Are you adding it to your “Favelas” collection or is it related to another theme?
I am still not sure. I feel I cannot go from such a strong theme to something like flowers and fruits. This is why I believe that whatever comes next will be along the same lines in terms of theme. However, I also like not knowing where art will take me.
What things that other teenagers do, you don’t do in order to paint?
I consider myself very ordinary. However, making a collection and an exhibit is very time and energy consuming. Even though I usually go out with my friends, there were definitely times I was so tired, I wouldn't go out as much or do other activities.
What do you do when you are not painting?
Facebook and listen to music.
Who are your favorite singers and artists?
I really admire Brandon Boyd from the band Incubus because he is both a talented singer and painter. I have always liked Nirvana. They always had very strong messages that reached people. I am not a big fan of soft songs. I am more of a 30 Seconds to Mars or My Chemical Romance person.
What about painters?
Alejandra Duque-Estrada, of course. Aside from the fact that she is my teacher and that I am very fond of her as a person, I believe she is a great artist. I love her techniques, themes and her style in general. From Nicaragua I also like Ilse Manzanares. On an International level I like Warhol and Pollock. I love Pop Art in general.
In general, people who have interest in the arts are not good with numbers. Is that your case?
I dont like math. It makes me suffer.
What is your worst subject as school?
Physical Education. I do not mind exercising, but I do not enjoy playing under in a field or under the sun. I think I lack hands-feet coordination.
What other interests do you have?
I enjoy reading about different things and learning about random facts. I watch little television. I very much prefer u
sing the computer. I find very interesting to find out what others consider Art. I particularly enjoy learning about Culinary Arts, since I love food so much.
How has your parents’ support been?
I thank God for putting everything in place. If it weren't for Him, none of this would happen. My parents have always been there for me. Their unconditional support is something I value immensely. There are so many people with talents that lack support. There are also people whose creativity is turned off by others, who consider the Arts to be worthless. My family has been incredible. They have always believed in me and supported my creativity.
When you graduate from school, what are you planning to study?
I am still in tenth grade and have not made up my mind yet. I really think I will study Art or something along the lines of design. I really can’t see myself doing anything else.