Dasic Fernández cannot remember precisely how or when he became an arAst. Fascinated by Chile’s burgeoning hip-hop culture of the 1990s, he searched for a way to engage with it in public spaces. By the age of 14, he had found his answer in graffiA art. Today, at 24, the SanAago-born arAst is a muralist of rising fame whose works dot urban landscapes across the Americas.
Fernández, who speaks with the cadences and dropped consonants of his naAve Chile, grew up in the small, rural town of Rancagua. He began painAng simply by graffiA-tagging buildings with the stylized le[ers of his name. At the University of Chile in SanAago, where he studied architecture, he explored the impact of art on urban spaces while experimenAng with content, themes and style for his own art. “I became more in love with painAng on the street than with being in class,” he recalls. In his fourth year he leM university to experience art in other parts of the world, including Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and eventually New York, where he moved in December 2009.
Fernández’ shiM toward muralism that began during his student days intensified during his travels. Although he maintains that “everything I paint and everything I know how to do in art is rooted in graffiA,” he also cites nineteenth and twenAeth century arAsts like Vincent Van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky and Roberto Ma[a as his idols. Fernández prefers the medium of street art because it contains the “essenAal” quality of providing a space in which to connect with the public directly. Once, aMer a Chilean TV staAon distorted his remarks in an interview, he painted a graffito of a person with a lock on his mouth near his apartment in the heart of SanAago. The painAng became a powerful and well-known protest of censorship, which Fernández never anAcipated. “You never know what the consequence of your art may be,” he says. “PainAng on the street carries great responsibility—both arAsAc and social.”