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Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Felix d’Eon moved to California at the age of 3. The 33 year old artist considers himself Mexican-American. He now resides in Mexico City.
This exciting contemporary artist captures the erotic and intimate. His recent series ‘Russian Propaganda’ re-contextualizes Russian fairy tales with LGBT couples. In light of the recent exposure of homophobia and discrimination in Russia during the Sochi Winter Olympics, these are powerful representations of LGBT relationships.
Vada: Describe your current work.
Felix d’Eon – My most recent series has been the gay Russian propaganda. They are painted like the most beautiful fairy tales, of Russian princes and queens, and all celebrating gay love and passion in the most tender language I can command.
Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Yes, I have never had any other interest, nor do I have any other skills, so it’s a good thing its been working out for me! My mother is quite a cultured woman, and as a little boy she took us to the great museums in Europe, and on most weekends we were at the opera, botanical gardens, and museums, although she also loved the beach and the desert. She encouraged my interests, which is wonderful, so I pursued art with a single minded devotion since my earliest childhood.
What is art’s role in promoting change and equality in light of the first anti-gay arrest in Russia?
The situation there is so dire. I think that art contributes to a general zeitgeist, and that as I and other artists make work that celebrates gay love and sensibilities, barriers are slowly eroded and new perspectives find room to grow. I don’t think anyone will be changed by my work, and yet I think work by artists like me is instrumental in bringing about social change, one tiny push and baby step at a time.
With regard to my series of gay propaganda, my hope was to use a conservative language – Russian communist posters, turn of the century illustration – to tell a radical message, but a radical message that should be common place. It brings that feeling of a righteous fight for justice, or of romantic love and passion, perfected by past artists, and gives those important feelings and emotions to our own community. My work is really quite conservative.
Why is it important for the LGBT community to create art?
There are so many gay icons in art history; Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Il Sodoma, Henry Scott Tuke, the redoubtable Tom of Finland, on and on and on. Artists great and small, artists with every conceivable intent – and those are just the visual artists. We have had such a strong impact on the culture of the world. There is so much of which to be proud! As to erotic art, it is true that it has not been painted in quite so open a way as is possible today – although I defy you to look at a Caravaggio nude and not describe it as erotic. My own work is deeply erotic, in part as a reflection of my beliefs concerning the body and sexuality. I naturally consider them beautiful, and deserving of celebration, and the more so a gay sexuality, which has so long been regarded as gross or as the butt of jokes. My work, the paintings as well as the blog and photographs, present gay sex and love as utterly beautiful and worthy of the highest respect.
Felix forthcoming project, a series of paintings which explores male beauty in all forms, breaks away from his self-confessed tendency to feature the same physical attributes. Look out for images of ‘bears, handsome men with hair and bellie, and elegant men in top hats and tails’ in his next work.
You can find out more about Felix’s art via his website.