Face and body painting is one of the most important manifestations. The body is a primordial means of expression.
Starting from the premise that each person is a world, we could say that each make-up artist is not only a world but opens the doors to parallel worlds.
And, if we refer to parallel worlds, the one surrounding All Hollow’s Eve, better known as Halloween or Halloween is the parallel world par excellence.
It is celebrated on the night of October 31st and its roots are linked to the Celtic commemoration of Samhain (end of summer).
Fernando M is like an ancient Celt when Samhain came; the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the new year that came with the dark season. It is perfectly logical since the sun fades and darkness absorbs most of the hours.
So much so, that in ancient times the Celts believed that the line linking the World with the World beyond became increasingly thinner in that season.
This allowed spirits, both benevolent and perverse, to pass from one side to the other. People wore costumes and masks to ward off the spirits. After all, the idea was to adopt the appearance of an evil spirit to avoid being harmed.
Ferdinand M has this ability to transform a person into a completely different person. Whether it is for beauty, for a disguise, or implemented as an artistic display.
We don’t all experience makeup in the same way. We don’t all makeup in the same way. Nor do we express ourselves in the same way with makeup.
A very characteristic look is what sets Fernando Madroñero apart from the rest: skull tattoos, thick black-framed glasses, skull ring and chain, black t-shirt, leather jacket, torn jeans, and boots that make him more like a gothic lover than a professional make-up artist.
Far from his image hides one of the most important professional make-up artists of the new Colombian generation and who has a recognized name in the German fashion world.
Artistic make-up as opposed to social make-up. This type of makeup does not seek to enhance the attributes or features of the person, it can vary according to its purpose, as it can be used for cultural, social, and entertainment purposes. It is used in visual and audio-visual media such as theater, cinema, television, photography, and related.
Over the years, artistic makeup has been changing its purpose, starting with the identification of a whole culture and adapting to the visual or audio-visual media to emphasize the power of pigments and cosmetics to transform the image. Artistic makeup has been evolving, becoming more common from the 60’s and 70’s onwards.
“I try to project that recursion characteristic of Colombians in all my work”.
Fashion has always had a strong visual impact and a history that is linked to it through magazines, fashion books, fashion shows, photographers and makeup artists. Becoming a makeup artist is an evolution.
Since he was very young he liked painting, he always liked theater. At school, in any cultural activity he was involved.
It was a whole process, when he got out of the army he had the opportunity to get to know the suburban culture of Cali; the discotheques, the show groups. In the discotheques where they had trans shows, it was possible to meet people who were very recursive.
For this reason, his inspiration is always on the side of experimentation and seeking to reinterpret common elements, to recycle, to use unexpected things to make works of art, to magnify and potentialize everything that exists, existed and will exist.
When we visit an exhibition we never think about the work behind it, the hours of preparation and the professionals who make it possible. Many overlook the intense, laborious, and painstaking work of a make-up artist.
In the fashion, photography, television or film world, they are the ones who can make or break something.
Like any artistic field, being a good make-up artist requires time, perseverance and dedication to master this art.
It seems more and more complicated to be able to work and develop in a dream job in any field of work.
It always prevails the thread theme, it becomes a circle of few. This makes that names, faces, styles are respected and that in many occasions there is no innovation.
Therefore, the fact that he has opened the doors alone, without anyone’s help, without owing favours to anyone has weight. Fernando M is a fully-fledged artist. He is loved among his colleagues and respected as a person and as a creative being.
When someone recognizes his work, when someone recommends him, he knows he has done things right. It may have been difficult at some point, he has not always been recognized and the best work starts from scratch.
In the world in which he moves there are many Latin American women: Venezuelan, Brazilian, Colombian models. Unfortunately the fashion world tends to be superficial, if it does not have a specific brand, people ignore it and that is frivolous, empty, a hollow without light.
“I don’t want to fall into what happens to many artists, which is that one praise doesn’t affect them, for me, every praise, every time someone recognizes my work is an absolute pride. When someone gives me the opportunity to give me free rein, they let me do my work the way I want, with my vision, that’s for my confidence in my ability and in what I do.”
Laura Viera A: What is the world of makeup like?
Fernando Machado: The field of makeup is evolving like fashion. The source of inspiration I have now is on the Internet because there is more access. But before I had to look for inspiration in cinema, theater, etc.
Drawing and painting has been a constant in his life since he was a child. In his studies he had to do the obligatory work and drawings like all children and teenagers.
From a very early age he decided that he would have in the background of his mind and soul all the colors, fantasy, shapes, angels, skulls and spirits as good as evil to have the whole spectrum of beauty coming out of him.
After all, this was the only way to appreciate other intentions, other expressive approaches, beyond academics and training.
Beyond a job or vocation, being a professional makeup artist is a way of life.
To live for art, for creation, for the transformation of others. Since then, his professional activity has been linked to the life process.
In this job, as in any other, what is really interesting are the creative processes.
As a make-up artist, in the creative impulse there is an intuitive and emotional relationship, in balance with what you want to convey.
There is always an intimate and unique relationship with each work, there is something particular in each person that is made up. It is necessary a dialogue between shapes, images and colors. It arises from a need for expression or communication.
“I love the satisfaction of knowing that one is evolving as a person and as a professional. The years give you wisdom, that’s what my grandmother and my mother used to say and now I believe them. The experiences of life, the turns that you have taken are what make you at this moment as a person.”
There is always an intimate and unique relationship with each work, there is something special in each person that is made up. It is necessary a dialogue between shapes, images and colors. It arises from a need for expression or communication.
The work is demanding and demands a lot of your time. However, more than once this work is too superficial, so a glass of champagne, a canape, can be small “rewards” for the sacrifices that are made, but that is not Fernando’s world.
When it comes to being an immigrant almost everything can be said to be difficult. The truth is that there are moments when you feel that you can’t stand it, but not everything is darkness.
In the case of being an immigrant in Germany, the most complicated thing is the language. Trying to understand the mentality, the idiosyncrasy, the way of acting of the Germans is difficult.
“That’s what I’m happy about, no matter how long I’ve been away, my roots have not been lost. I will always be me, the one who was born and raised in Cali.”
The most difficult month for Fernando is November.
The term Black November is not for free because during this transition, from autumn to winter, the world around us changes in a very intense way.
Starting because the hours of sunshine are less, there is daylight but you can’t see the sun.
No matter how long I’ve been outside, I hear a salsa, a hymn, a change and my eyes water, I get goose bumps.
Fernando Madroñero Dominguez is from Cali. What many Colombians do when they leave the country, they come after a dream, not only in the professional part that is very important but also as a person.
The truth is that moving from a place like Cali to a place like Berlin is hard, but everything in life has a price.
Laura Viera A: Is it difficult to leave the country? How has life been here?
Fernando Machado: I don’t think it was difficult to leave the country. At that time I was 25 years old, full of expectations, dreams, ideas, desires, and it was very easy for me to leave the country. It was a decision I did not hesitate to make. I believe that life offers you opportunities and you have to take them immediately because later you regret it.
Laura Viera A: Do you regret it?
Fernando Machado: I never regret the decision to leave Colombia. Life in general is a bit difficult but I think you try to make it easy or difficult yourself, it depends on how it is, so far I have succeeded. I know how far I can go and how far I can’t go.
You have been living in the German capital for 18 years. When he arrived in Germany 18 years ago, this was another country and Berlin was another city.
In those years he has learned about German history, the political stagnation, the reconstruction, the pain and the shame they felt and will carry forever.
He saw the reconstruction of Potsdamer Platz. He went to the inauguration, impressive, that was no man’s land there. He has seen how the city has evolved.
Laura Viera A: What has life been like here?
Fernando Machado: It was an opportunity that was given to me, to travel to Hamburg. I arrived here without knowing anything about the language, the country, its customs. It was quite a difficult stage. I can say that I have had a good star and a lot of luck.
Machado assures me that when it comes to living abroad, communication is a delicate issue. Especially if you live in a country with a language so different from your own. But after so many years of living in these German lands, he feels very happy with his communication skills and is grateful to have the opportunity to have a broader vision of the Germans and their culture.
What has impacted him the most since he left the country is to be able to live with that freedom, freedom in every sense of the word. To do what you want, to have access to many opportunities, to have no limits, to have a 180-degree vision. And it is not a freedom to be taken lightly because the freedom to be able to do everything is a very big responsibility.
The skull does not always represent death. Man has always sought to be another person or have another role in the world, not only because of wars or for religious purposes. That’s where makeup comes from, what I do as art.
“I think we live in a world where we all wear a mask whether invisible or visible…they say that time doesn’t change people, only that over time the mask falls off.”
The most important thing is its ability to disfigure and by that I refer to its ability to transform models.
To achieve this it is necessary to model the skull that is underneath that person and it is modeled with color.
Officially for a decade he has been working as a professional make-up artist, before it was a hobby that progressed into a job because people liked what he did.
To create worlds you don’t need to be God, you need to be creative, not to set limits, to be able to go a little further.
As a professional makeup artist, he believes that keeping fresh is essential.
Although in his day-to-day life he gives people a different look, the idea of dressing up as someone else doesn’t really appeal to him.
Fernando is faithful to All Hallow’s Eve. He has a special bond with this celebration partly because he magnifies the “skulls” of others.
Laura Viera A: What are you passionate about?
Fernando Machado: I am very passionate about being creative. I inherited it from my father, who was a very creative person. At that time in Colombia there was no access to many things and I had to be very resourceful in terms of materials and ideas, in order to create a positive impact in presentations.
Laura Viera A: What don’t people know about you?
Fernando Machado:I don’t like to show my feelings. It is something that I have learned to take care of my feelings because people abuse them. So, I have realized that in the last few years.
Laura Viera A: How have you lived the whole pandemic moment?
Fernando Machado:I think it has been a total change, a 180-degree change. It has turned us upside down. In my case it was something like a premonition because a year before the pandemic I left my main job as a makeup artist and concentrated on other things. I was noticing that at a certain age certain professions are demanding more and one is changing the concept, there is a new generation coming and you have to give them space and room. I was very discreet and began to concentrate on other sources of income without leaving the makeup that I love. Yes, I hit it very hard the first three months.
Fernando, a proudly Cali talent, never imagined himself as just another artist in the crowd. The world is a perfect stage for his creation, there are no limits in his mind and much less in his concept of art or fashion.
Living in the moment allows him absolute flexibility when it comes to experimenting and confronting the world with uncomfortable truths. Several years ago he understood that the best thing to do was to break all kinds of boundaries and that is reflected in his day to day life: artist, makeup artist, apprentice of life. Ramos is a man with many faces who has not stopped dreaming, through his art he manages to make a profound change in the mentality of others.