Dickinson Roundell, Inc. is pleased to present solo exhibition of sculptural work by Julio Felix December 8- January 12, 2017.
The Title of the show “America” reflects a unique time in the United States political history. Although both work and title were planned before the 2016 election results, this past November, how is this moment in history, relevant if at all in your new work?
Sometimes I feel that politics is a topic you have to collaborate with, not fight against. My frame of mind at the time of making this body of work was not originally about politics, but about the history of materials and how to eliminate the traditional hierarchical views that exist in both art and life.
You choose to exhibit 9 masks. The origin of Masks dates back as early as 8000 BC and have been used for various forms and traditions according to its particular culture. How does your work reflect your culture?
Masks have nostalgic significance to me. I enjoy the history of masks, especially the masks of the Native Americans. I admire the preservation added towards masks both from a collector and conservator point of view. I appreciate the ageing process, which reminds me that in the end, they’re just objects, just harmony. A combination of objects that made someone feel how they needed to feel. And, with these 9 masks, I knew precisely the feeling that needed to happen. Is that feeling that an object is going to have longevity.
Robert Rauschenberg claimed to have used gold as a “visual experience” rather than art. This is especially seen in his “Elemental Paintings” Is this concept reflected in your work, and if so, how?
To me Robert Rauschenberg is to the ultimate American artist. He is from Texas, where I lived for 6 years. He changed his name and was also part Cherokee. With the “Elemental Paintings,” which were created blocks away from my current studio in Chinatown, Robert taught us that “there’s no such thing as ‘better’ material. It’s just as unnatural for people to use oil paint as it is to use anything else.” Gold for an artist is just as unnatural to use as oil paint, furthermore even dirt. In the past, gold showed fragility, nobility, power, a ceremonial spiritual colour. In the renaissance, gold and gilding was used to command attention to transcendental figures and the heavens. With this work, I want people to think about not just art, but the visual experience that represents the current state of materials, how we see gold, oil, and dirt, as nothing more than just materials.
Julio Felix (b. 1985) is an internationally exhibited American painter, sculptor, and scientist living in New York. Although born in the United States state of California, Felix spent many of his formative years in Sonora, Mexico and Texas. Throughout his childhood, Felix considered art interesting, but not a potential career. He attended college, graduating with a biology degree, with the intention of becoming a physician. However, Felix moved to New York in 2011 to study philosophy and it was there, at the age of twenty six, that he decided to become a professional painter and sculptor. Felix received B.S. and M.A. degrees from The University of Texas (2009) and New York University (2013).