“My work is meant to arouse the senses, to conjure emotional states, to enliven curiosity, and to instigate the telling of a story.”
Fernando Reyes has evolved from a San Francisco banker to a full-time artist, from a self-taught artist to a formally trained one, and from a purely representational artist to one whose broad portfolio now includes abstract art.
Born in 1954 and raised in Fresno, California, Reyes developed a love for art at a young age, often drawing his sisters, cultural icons, and imaginary female fashion models. In the summers he would pick grapes in the local fields with his family. He used the paper that the grapes were laid out on for drawing paper, as his family could not afford art supplies. Reyes worked as a banker in Fresno and then San Francisco for 17 years. His talent for art lay dormant during those years, but re-emerged in the late 1980s.
Reyes began as a self-taught artist, then decided to pursue formal art education.
He graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. He then returned to the Bay Area and has lived in Oakland since 1998. In 1999 he opened his current art studio, located in the Jingletown neighborhood of Oakland’s Fruitvale district.