Barbara Felix - Artist

I am a people person, and drawing the figure is my life’s passion. I’m interested in the shapes our bodies make; how our bodies are unique reflections of personality; and body language and what that conveys about us as a species. My investigation of the figure is also personal: from issues of self-image and self-worth, to understanding issues of gender identity for family members and friends who identify as LGTBQ. Added to this, I discovered my mixed-race heritage late in my life. My work is becoming a vehicle to connect to, and to compare complex experiences of my Black and Hispanic heritage. I also want to use my art practice to learn more about the diverse socio-political perspectives of what it means to live as a person of mixed-race in America.

I have recently retired from my corporate graphic design job in March 2022, to fully delve into my artistic pursuits. My multidisciplinary artistic practice combines gesture drawing with expressive painting, printmaking, collage, and experimentation to leverage both traditional and digital techniques. I have ideas for incorporating original patterns designs and textures in my work to create implied environments, and to include sculpture, installation, animation, video projection, perhaps even interactivity in my process. I prefer to work large-scale, as it allows for more unexpected mark making which can create an emotional connection between the viewer and my art.

Dance is often a subject I use in my work. I was in an accident in 1982 that nearly left me paralyzed and damaged my feet. I began appropriating the bodies of professional dancers to live vicariously as one. Since 2018, I have begun using dance as a way for me to create scenarios to explore many issues around racial equity and identity, and to celebrate people and my dual cultures. What I strive for as the “people person” that I am, is for my work to connect the viewer to shared experiences and our common humanity. I also want to provide a lens to others on some of the complicated issues that BIPOC people deal with from my perspective, and create opportunities for understanding, compassion and respect that go beyond tolerance.