Dex Fernandez is the artist behind the rounded, many legged "Garapata" character taking over cities across the world in the form of stickers and street art. Inspired by the infestation of ticks that explored his childhood home (brought in by his pet dogs), Fernandez's surreal Garapata pieces now explore urban areas around the globe, making art more accessible to people on everyday commutes. He has collaborated with Kalsada in designing our new, limited edition coffee bags for the Harana Blend. This week, we sat down with him for an exclusive interview regarding the inspirations behind Garapata.
What kind of messages do you often try and convey through your pieces?
My Garapata is both based on my personal and social experiences.
What's something you wish people understood more about you and your art?
It's simply a slice of life in a manner of whimsical humor. A mixture of both the deep and superficial.
"Garapata" came from the memories of your childhood home and dog. Where else do you draw your inspiration from?
Anything under the sun that captures my attention is surely a source of inspiration, I don't set limitations. I want my Garapata to be as versatile as possible, it's actually mostly gender-less. On the other hand, as a personal thought, Garapata is ME; I keep on walking, searching, and trying to find my right host.
Much like the resilient tick, your art has spread across the world. What has been your favorite place to work so far?
My favorite places so far are Tokyo and New York City. The texture, the setting, and the vibes of those cities are perfect for the Garapata adventure.
You cite Andy Warhol as an influencer of your work. If he were alive today, and was exploring one of your shows, what would you say to him?
Firstly, I would thank him for giving the art world a revolutionary kind of movement, pop art in general has had a big impact on my work, both Dex and Garapata. Secondly, I would give him a Garapata sticker.
What advice would you give to the aspiring artists out there?
Keep on working, don't be afraid to explore many things, be sincere, and don't be arrogant.
Lastly, (we here at Kalsada would love to know!) how do you take your coffee?
Just hot, black coffee. No sugar and no milk.
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Ashley Kline is an author and college student from Scottsdale, Arizona. She moved from the American Southwest to the Philippines in the summer of 2017, and has fallen in love with the coffee culture of Manila. Under the mentorship of her knowledgable supervisors at Kalsada, she hopes to one day become a specialty coffee aficionado and spread ethically sourced coffee practices around the world.