Mandela Effect

Mandela Effect, 2017

“Mandela Effect” – digital on giclée canvas, 40″w x 40″h (101.6 x 101.6cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

The “Mandela Effect” refers to a phenomenon in which a large number of people share false memories of past events, referred to as confabulation in psychiatry. The actual term was coined by a blogger in 2010 to describe a collective false memory that former South African President Nelson Mandela died during his imprisonment in the 1980s.

This painting had the effect with me once it was done. It felt strongly like something that was created before, whether by me or someone else wasn’t clear. I drew a parallel with the feeling of being connected to the African continent, while never physically being there or having direct ancestral connections; only the cultural assumption.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

The Ndebele Ratio

“The Ndebele Ratio” – digital giclée canvas, 50″w x 40″h (127 x 101.6cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

The Ndebele people were fierce warriors and landowners in 18th century South Africa. Following a defeat in a war against Boer workers, they began to express their cultural resistance in symbolic patterns on their homes. The tradition usually done by the women was passed down over the generations from mother to mother. In the 1960’s they began to use vibrant colors, intensifying the symbolic meanings.

In “the Ndebele Ratio” the vibrant patterns are placed in a layout inspired by the Fibonacci spiral, and its relation to the mathematical golden ratio… patterns with deeper meaning.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Curse of Ham

Curse of Ham, 2017

“Curse of Ham” – digital on giclée canvas, 60″w x 40″h (152.4 x 101.6cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

The Curse of Ham is an interpretation of a biblical story that was used over time to justify the denigration and subjection of darker skinned people.

In this modern visual take, we have the rendition of the warrior as a symbol of virility and simplicity; and the zebra as a symbol of savagery and exoticism. Those figurative elements are purposefully juxtaposed on an abstracted field.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Kuba Matisse

Kuba Matisse, digital painting, 2017

“Kuba Matisse” – digital on giclée canvas, 53.3″w x 40″h (135.4 x 101.6cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

Master artist Henri Matisse was known to use Kuba textiles as inspiration for his later collage works. “Kuba Matisse” serves as a reminder of the African influence on the Western art canon.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

2Black

“2Black” – digital on giclée canvas, 40″w x 50″h (101.6 x 127 cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog

Inspired by the Saul Williams song “Black Stacey” which recounts how the singer’s skin tone affected his social experiences. In a time when certain celebrities have apparently sought ways to lighten their dark skin, it gives pause as to the reasons why one would do such a thing.

“2Black” presents a myriad of vivid colors under the darkened surface for the viewer to appreciate.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

Palingenesis

Palingenesis, digital painting by Will Felix 2017

“Palingenesis” – digital on giclée canvas, 53.3″w x 40″h (135.4 x 101.6cm), 2017. Part of the “Afrika” series. One original edition available for public sale; and one available for gallery/museum request. See full image at Saatchi Art.

AFRIKA blog
Palingenesis
– early 19th century: from Greek palin ‘again’ + genesis ‘birth.’

A sense of chaos, mystery, and daunting… venturing into an unfamiliar place. The eye seeks recognizable forms and shapes in order to make sense of its surroundings, but the mind knows now that this is something other than its normal stimuli.

“Palingenesis” describes this process and feeling, and sets the tone for the rest of the works in the Afrika series.

Archival quality 10-ink printer, Breathing Color® Aqueous canvas. Full sized art is unstretched and rolled in a tube for shipping.

AFRIKA

Afrika

Starting July 13, and every week until November 2017, a new work of art by Will Felix will be released with an accompanying blog on willfelix.com; and will be available for sale online at Saatchi Art. Extra content and features will be available to those who signed up on the Will Felix Artsite mailing list.

This series represents a new direction for the artist, exploring the possibilities of addressing current events using abstract symbolism with new media.

In spite of the moniker, the series is not meant to be viewed primarily as a treatise of African art or the African experience. Such exercises are best left to talented African artists, some doing incredible things like Laolu Senbanjo.

What these works seek to explore instead is how having this other continent’s name attached to one’s identity (literally, being called African-American) can affect one’s outlook in a unique way. In an age when the term is used to both embolden and to demean; to fetishize and to exclude; it is crucial to examine objectively how the interpretations of this vast region play a part in the world’s perception of its diaspora.

Creatively, there is a strong influence by the work of Norman Lewis, a master of abstract expressionism that didn’t get the strong recognition he deserved because there was an “African” in front of his “American”… even though they didn’t yet use the term during his lifetime; and his work portrayed universal colors, lines, and shapes that didn’t require it to be viewed particularly within a racial context. There is also the influence of Jean-Michel Basquiat, who also incorporated voodoo-like iconography that harkens back to African origins.

There is an ongoing public discourse by Americans of Black descent, seeking to identify themselves beyond the confines of their historical placement in Western society. This work hopes to take part in this search.

The full sized digital paintings will be available on canvas, with only one print of each work available to the public, and one available on demand for galleries and museums.

Smaller sized open edition prints will also be available to the public via Saatchi Art.

New artwork coming soon!

New fine art by Will Felix to be unveiled in 2017. These will represent a radical shift in style, content, materials, process, and presentation.

Be the first to see the new works by joining the artsite mailing list. You will be eligible for exclusives, discounts, and giveaways while getting the inside scoop on new works by an artist on the move.

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons - composite of the 4 paintings
The 4 Seasons - Summer
The Four Seasons – Summer, 2003

This four piece work was created back in 2003. With art supply funds being low, I sought the ability to paint in an impasto-like quality, but using cheaper acrylics. I discovered acrylic gel medium and varnish, and this was the result.

The 4 Seasons - Autumn
The Four Seasons – Autumn, 2003

Over the years, this series has been among the most recognized, and consequent works have been influenced by them. As for the subject matter, they serve as a precursor to a larger project that I plan to work on in the future.

The 4 Seasons - Winter
The Four Seasons – Winter, 2003

“The Four Seasons” is available for sale now in giclée print canvas or paper, various sizes, at Crated and at Fine Art America. You can purchase either one season, or all four as a set.

The 4 Seasons - Spring
The Four Seasons – Spring, 2003

Two artists…

…that I view as mentors:

Pablo Picasso

PabloPicasso-Les-Demoiselles-dAvignon-1907
“Les demoiselles d’Avignon,” 1907

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel-Basquiat-Bird-on-Money-detail-1981
“Bird on money (detail),” 1981

…that my work gets compared to often:

Georgia O’Keefe

017-georgia-o-keefe-theredlist
“Gray line with black, blue, and yellow,” 1923

Wassily Kandinsky

kandinsky_wassily_4
“Composition VII,” 1913

…that my college art professors recommended to me:

Oskar Kokoshka

Kokoschka, Oskar, 1886-1980; Apocalypse
“Apocalypse,” 1950

José Clemente Orozco

katharsis_web
“Katharsis,” 1934

…that I detest:

Jeff Koons

25-jeff-koons.w750.h560.2x
“Play-Doh,” 1994–2014

Thomas Kinkade

gonwin2
“Gone with the wind,” 2011

…current and successful, that I admire:

Cecily Brown

brown dreamboat
“Dreamboat,” 2011

Jasper Johns

jasper johns map 1961
“Map,” 1961

…that I would like my art to gain influence from:

Norman Lewis

lewis twilight sounds 1947
“Twilight sounds,” 1947

Helen Frankenthaler

Hint from Bassano, 1973
“Hint from Bassano,” 1973