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Jesse Antonio Fernández, born in Havana in 1925, grew up in a family that fled the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado and returned to Cuba when the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936. At the age of fifteen, he entered the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts in Havana, but soon abandoned his studies in electronic engineering in Philadelphia to devote himself to art. In New York, he studied painting with George Grosz and Preston Dickinson, and met renowned artists such as Wifredo Lam, Marcel Duchamp and Willem de Kooning.

In the 1950s, Fernández worked in an advertising agency in Medellín, Colombia, where he began to develop a passion for photography. Back in New York, he became a press photographer and his work was published in leading magazines. In 1959, at the request of Guillermo Cabrera Infante, he photographed Fidel Castro and the beginnings of the Cuban revolution. Fernández then turned to painting, developing a style characterized by skulls and landscapes.

In the 1960s, he alternated between teaching in New York and spending time in Puerto Rico where he exhibited his work and wrote reviews for the San Juan Star. From 1974 to 1976, he lived between Toledo and Madrid, regularly exhibiting his work, particularly his “boxes”, his personal interpretation of history and universal culture. In 1977, he moved to France where he took photographs of architecture and portraits of famous artists, as well as participating in numerous exhibitions.

In the 1980s, Fernández published works such as Retratos, a collection of his portraits of artists and writers, and The Mummies of Palermo, which documents the thousands of mummies in the catacombs of the Capuchin convent. Jesse A. Fernández died in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1986 and is buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery.

His artistic career reflects his evolution through painting and photography, via the press and writing. His encounters with renowned artists and his exploration of different cultures have influenced his work, giving him a unique perspective and a multidisciplinary approach to art.

Exhibitions at the gallery

Jesse A.Fernández’s jazz

Solo show


Jesse A.Fernández et ses modèles, Bacon, Dalí, Hartung, Lam, Matta, Miró, Picasso, Tàpies…
Le jazz de Jesse A.Fernández

Solo show




L’art a un visage, Exhibition catalogue, 2022