Normality, 2021-2022, archival inkjet print, 17 x 11 inches
2022 Senior Exhibition Artists 2022 Senior Exhibition Artists: Andrew Fernandes
Andrew Fernandes

Art + Design: Photography

About Andrew Fernandes

Andrew Fernandes is a fine arts photographer based in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He received his BFA in Photography at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2022. His interest in the medium of photography grew after his first digital photography class in high school. Since then, he has developed a broad range of both commercial and fine arts work: from wedding photography, business and family portraiture to documentary photography and more personal fine-arts work. Andrew’s interest lies in finding the beauty in places that are commonly overlooked. His current work involves self-portraits focused on the topic of body insecurities and the pressures of masculinity.



Throughout my childhood, I was never proud of how I looked physically. Being obese for much of my life, I always looked towards those in my life that were more athletic than myself. I looked up to my male family members and, in order to fit in, pretended to enjoy the sports they played. Furthermore, I was influenced by various media portrayals of masculinity. I never truly felt like I belonged anywhere. My time spent throughout grade school was that of self-shame. I was overwhelmed and fearful by the possibility of someone viewing me as different or weird. I constantly covered myself in sweatshirts to partially hide my body, even during the heat of summer. The desire to hide myself outweighed my own personal comfort. I have hidden many ways that I cope around others while living in my body. This aspect of myself has been internalized until recently. I began photographing myself in my grandmother’s room, a comforting space with a large mirror. This helped me reflect upon my identity and come to terms with who I am. This is a therapeutic process for me and has given me the confidence to talk about the insecurities I have kept hidden. I believe that turning the camera on myself is a step towards self-assurance.

For my project, I portray how I have dealt with issues regarding body image and feeling out of place. I believe that doing this work and showing it to others has personally helped me break out of my shell. I believe that talking about body issues with someone, however difficult it may seem, is the best way to start overcoming whatever insecurity one may have. I also focus on the pressures of masculinity, and the fear of being perceived as weak when a man shows vulnerability. From childhood to teenage years especially, boys are influenced by various portrayals of masculinity. They are expected to be tough and ridicule other boys who don’t seem that way. A large portion of why I internalized my body issues has to do with looking weak as compared to other men. This project attempts to show that it’s acceptable man to show vulnerability.

The project is comprised of self-portraits in a variety of personally familiar settings, from public spaces to various locations within and around my house. A domestic space such as my grandmother’s room shows the side of myself that desires to open up. A masculine setting such as my father’s garage makes me tense up, and less willing to be vulnerable. The camera serves as a presence that I can confide in and allows me to perform different roles or versions of myself. As an example, enacting as a more athletic version of myself or as a primal idea of masculinity, shirtless and in the cold. The distance between myself and the camera creates different relationships. The further away I am from the frame, the more it shows how I’m trying to hide myself from others by blending into the background. A closer framed shot expresses how I wish to open myself up more and be fully visible. These viewpoints attempt to give the viewer a better idea of what occurs in my life and in my mind. This project allows me to convey the vulnerable side of myself that I would not otherwise show.