Q&A with November Artist-in-Residence Ana Teresa Fernandez

November Artist-in-Residence Ana Teresa Fernandez enacts and participates in the intersection of politics and personal identity through painting, performance, and video. Her work illuminates the barriers, both psychological and physical, that confine and divide gender, race, and class in western society and the global south.

A woman dressed in black climbing over a metal fence.
Borrando Frontera by Ana Teresa Fernandez

Where are you from?

I'm from Tampico, Mexico

Where did you receive your art training?

I received my MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and did art history studies in Florence, Italy.

In what media do you primarily work?

My primary medium is performance, but it takes its documentary form through painting, installation, and video.

A room covered in gingham checked print.

Carry on by Ana Teresa Fernandez

Who are your artistic influences?

Wayne Thiebaud, Marina Abramovic, and Ana Mendieta to name a few.

Do you have a favorite artwork at the de Young or the Legion of Honor? If so, what is it?

Thiebaud's work is my absolute favorite. I can stare at Three Machines all day.


Wayne Thiebaud (American, b. 1920). Three Machines, 1963. Oil on canvas. Museum purchase, Walter H. and Phyllis J. Shorenstein Foundation Fund, the Roscoe and Margaret Oakes Income Fund, with additional funds from Claire E. Flagg, the Museum Society Auxiliary, Mr. and Mrs. George R. Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. John N. Rosekrans, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bransten, Mr. and Mrs. Steven MacGregor Read, and Bobbie and Mike Wilsey, from the Morgan Flagg Collection. 1993.18

If you weren’t an artist, what would you do? Or are you an artist full time? If not, what is your “day job?” 

I don't like to even think about that.

How does living in the Bay Area influence your art practice?

Every day the Bay Area influences me—what I see, smell, taste, and feel—as well as the characters that walk the street and the incredible foods that surround us.

What is the one-place/museum/cultural site you’d like to visit?

I would love to see the Hagia Sophia.

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Visit and engage with Ana Teresa Fernandez in the Artist Studio November 6–December 1, 2013, Wednesdays–Sundays, 1–5 pm and Fridays, 6–8:30 pm.