Barbara Felix - Artist

Drawing the figure is my life’s passion. I’m interested in the shapes our bodies make, how every part of our bodies are unique reflections of personality, what our body language conveys about us. My investigation of the figure is also personal: from issues of self-image and self-worth, to understanding issues of gender identity that family and friends who identify as LGTBQ or non-binary experience. Added to this, I discovered my mixed-race heritage late in my life. My work is becoming a vehicle to connect to and 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 retired from a corporate graphic design job in March 2022 to fully delve into my artistic pursuits. My multidisciplinary artistic practice combines traditional and digital techniques including expressive gesture drawing and experimental painting, printmaking, and collage in ways that reveal the unique characteristics of my chosen subjects. I prefer to work large-scale, as it allows for more unexpected mark-making, offering opportunities for emotional connections between the viewer and my art. I also work in experimental video with stop motion animation and performance that investigate human experiences and social equity issue.

Dance is often a subject I use in my work. In 1982, just as I discovered a personal passion for contemporary dance, I was in a devastating car accident that nearly left me paralyzed. Decades later, inspired by dance television shows, I began using dance as a way for me to create scenarios to explore many issues around racial equity and identity, and to celebrate my dual cultures. I began by utilizing the bodies of professional dancers and inserting my face onto them to live vicariously as a professional dancer myself through my work. I strive for my work to connect the viewer to shared experiences and our common humanity.