The artist uses a figurative style to capture landscapes and the human figure.
Alejandro Fischer moved from his home country of Colombia to the United States after graduating from high school, in order to advance his studies in the arts. Currently living in Wayland, Fischer has been a working member of the Needham community for the past two years, commissioning his art at Gorse Mill Studios. The Needham Times sat down with Fischer to discuss his background, his inspirations and his upcoming exhibit, “Figurative Drawings,” on display in September at the studios’ art gallery.
What inspired you to become an artist?
It must be genetic, I come from a family of artists. There are approximately 22 professional artists in my family, so I was bound to do it. There were three generations of artists before me, some of my uncles were my early mentors, and my cousins and I had to follow. So I knew I would make art all my life, I just didn’t know what kind. So I moved here, from Colombia in 1990 after high school and I joined the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
What made you move to the United States?
It was the best place to study art. Back at home, at that time in the ’90s, they didn’t have the best art schools, and I knew I just had to come here. My mother grew up in New York, so it was an easy transition.
How did you choose Massachusetts?
One of my uncles who is an architect came here about four years before we did to do his masters at Harvard. And because he was here, my grandparents moved here two years later. Then I moved with my mother and sister, and then some other cousins followed, so we have a lot of family around.
How would you describe your style of art?
I’m a figurative artist, meaning I usually do anything that has to do with the human figure or with landscapes. Not always so realistic, I used be more realistic. I trained in a traditional manner at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, but they were also extremely open to new things, so they pushed me to find new grounds.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
That’s a hard one, because usually when you start studying an artist, you really get into their work and you read all of the books about that person and then you fall in love with them. So I’ve always had, for a certain amount of time, a favorite artist. In college I couldn’t get enough of Michelangelo. I was into anatomy which meant he was the greatest. And then it was DaVinci, and so on. Nowadays there are too many to choose. With the internet, everyday you find great artists everywhere, even artists younger than me. I see their work and say, “wow, that’s amazing!”
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
If you love art, if it’s a passion and you know you can’t live without it, go ahead and do it. Otherwise, don’t do it. It’s hard. It’s tough to live off of art. Competition is fierce. It’s not for everybody. I believe we haven’t been given the credit that we deserve as artists, because it’s tough. It’s harder than anything. My daughter right now is studying pre-med and she wants to be a surgeon, and I said, ‘great, I’m glad you chose something easy.’ Of course it’s a joke, she has to study hard, but easy in the sense that when she’s done she has it made. For us it’s a struggle for many years. But the reward is that, in my case, if I do what I love then I’m happy every day doing it. I’m happy in the struggle.
Are there any pieces of yours that you’re particularly proud of?
It varies. I’ve had two pieces in museums back at home in Colombia, so I’m proud of that. I’m happy that they have it in that collection. The pieces are a portrait of my daughter and a portrait of my ex-wife, so I’m proud of that. But those two aren’t my favorite works. I did a portrait of my grandfather when he was 101. I really loved that portrait because I managed to capture him pretty well, and he was a hero for me, so I really like that portrait. I don’t know, in general there’s one or two pieces that when I’m done I really like them and it’s a little harder for me to let them go.
Article By Stefan Geller, July 11, 2017