Philippe Fernandez, The Unshakeable
We think that our destiny has already been decided in advance. Some will brag in the knowledge that nothing will change, that their road is already laid out and cleared of obstacles. Others will say that the surprise is part of their lives, and that change, as scary as it may seem, allows them to satisfy their freethinking hunger. Philippe Fernandez is one of these people, happy, learning in the moment and mentally blossomed to avoid being locked in a disenchanted refrain.
In a country where the heat of the party is in full swing, Philippe has taken the essence of freedom to end up in a world that is dear. And so it is under people’s skin where he delivers all the love from his passion, insatiable and excited at the idea of knowing more and more. And with this buzzing head, which now appears on one of our “Planchettes” we have kept hold of this ever fascinating mood of artists that fill our culture. Meet the man with another creative emotion. —
Hello Philippe ! How’s it going ? We start with a spoof question. Can you tell me more about your origins and courses?
I was born in Ibiza, Spain where I grew up till I was 15 years old when I left to Barcelona to pursue my studies. After school I went to university and got my bachelor of arts and Design. After my studies I specialized in motion graphics. I was also working as VJ in some electronic parties from Barcelona as I was developing my own projects of visual installations.Then I arrived to Berlin where everything changed.
You work in AKA in Berlin. That is a tattoo and piercing shop, gallery, café… Well, an alternative place actually. Under what circumstances did you came in Berlin and start to work with AKA?
I decided to move to Berlin around 4-5 years ago, where I started working as junior designer in a motion graphic studio. After a while I realized that wasn’t for me. Computers and technology were not really my thing as you depend 100% on the machine and the programs you use, that was a bit frustrating and I have to say, your creativity is totally reduced to your knowledge of the programs. More less at the same moment I got a tattoo machine from some friends and started tattooing them at home, I felt i was enjoying it more than my work, I just wanted to finish work to start drawing again and tattoo my friends. I felt I was finally doing something real so I started looking for a studio where I could maybe learn a bit more about the technique, and things started to happened. I got an e-mail from AKA, and had the possibility to join the team. At the beginning it was just to take care of the shop and being in the front room with the clients. It wasn’t really an apprenticeship for tattooing, but just being in the studio surrounded of all those artists was really enough for me. From this point I started to learn from all the tattooers of the studio. I always tried to have an eye while they were working and trying to apply what I learned during the evenings on anyone who would let me try. Now there’s already 3 years i’m here at AKA.
Does Berlin city has repercution on your artwork?
Berlin on itself don’t have a real repercussion on my artwork, I actually find most of my influence during travels, in my books or internet. But I have to say that the city have helped me to find my way. Berlin, is this city where it looks that everything is possible. It’s a very young city, just 25 years since the wall felt. I think when i arrived in Berlin I though I found paradise. Big city, cheap life, lot of culture, lower rents, and never ending parties. Coming from a warm place it took me time to get use to this endless cold and dark winters, but I think that those helped me a lot to achieve what I’m doing right now. In spain we are use to go drink beers in the sun as soon as you have a bit of free time, here you use this time to be productive what permitted me to focus on my projects as I said before.
The tattooing becoming increasingly a common practice. I think that is a good point for the market but, do you think that may damage the image of tattooing? What is your conception of the profession?
There has been a big evolution in the tattoo world in the past years, lot of artists have found in tattoo a new way of expression and it has also been socially accepted. I think that a big part of this acceptation is caused by the fashion world that have exposed to the rest of the world tattoos as new trend, but as all the trends it have to stop somehow. I don’t think tattoo is gonna disappear, but will probably go back to his roots. People will still get tattoos, not anymore this big amount of people but just the right ones.
What about your influences? Is it a mix of everything or some well-defined things?
I think in the beginning for sure I got influenced by the artists who surrounded me in the studio, the guys which I learned from, but I always have been trying to keep an eye on the history of tattoo, the one that made me start tattooing. But if I’m honest you can get inspiration from everywhere, you just have to open your eyes!
Apart your lovely work, do you have other passions?
I think like most tattooers Im very lucky in the fact that my work is also my passion. When I am not in the studio, painting or tattooing then I am constantly looking for new inspiration. I love to travel and my work enables me to do that.
Why have you to decide to venture in ‘Planchettes’ exhibition?
It’s already almost a year since I got in that project and don’t remember really well, but what I can say I that I really liked to project that Olow was creating with the exhibition and with the brand so I felt honored to collaborate with them. (planchette)
Some projects, unconfessed dreams ? For the moment i’m just thinking in the next trips, discover the world, meet new people, and find myself
Finally, classical story! What is the most unlikely tattoo which have you done? (including picture and point on the body)That’s not something I wanna show! ? —
Interview by © Julien Catala