This American of Mexican and Filipino lineage always had the passion for the arts and his company has fueled that passion. At Reyes Fine Arts where he works as the creative artist at everything for seemingly whimsical works of art to highly emotional pieces. Everything he creates has a deeper meaning and whatever interpretation may vary from person to person. He wants his art to inspire people to look deeper; to use their minds.
Felix Reyes is currently an Associate of Arts student at El Centro College, in Texas where he lives and works. He had the great opportunity to be mentored by Carlos Donjuan, who is a nationally recognized painter and has been featured in several magazines including Jusapoz. He was also mentored by a locally well-known photographer, Irby Pace.
His art is in the private collections of well-known artists, as well as various private collections and galleries. What follows is our online interview with Felix Reyes:
You said you’re originally from Mexico and you moved to the US when you were three. Your grandmother is Filipino. How old are you now? How has life been for you with all that cultural amalgamation?
I’m 22 years of age. My amalgamation to different cultures has been slightly challenging, however I do not let culture define me as an individual. With my art, I seek to eliminate cultural barriers.
Your influences are a painter and a photographer. Do you juggle those two genres of art now in your craft? How did you go about putting up your own business? When did you start Reyes Fine Arts? Are you the sole owner or do you have business partners? You are now based in Texas. How do you get your clientele and where are they based?
With painting and photography, I use my photography to create painting and drawing that I have captured through my everyday life. For instance, my face of Depression sketch was captured from a photograph I took of morning monks here in Dallas. Although there is a great difference between the two mediums, I feel that photography is truly a precursor to inspire the art I create.
Your grandmother is Filipino. On what side of the family? Is she still living? Where was she from in the Philippines? What is the love story of your grandmother and your Mexican grandfather? Do you still remember her? What’s the best thing you cherish about her? What things have you learned or inherited from her?
Sadly my grandmother is no longer alive. She died before my birth. My father said she was from Davao. Over all, it is a sensitive topic for my family as it is what led to our moving to America. You see in Mexico, it is expected for families to stay within their own culture. My father grew up dealing with much animosity and did not want me to have to suffer through it as well.
Describe your journey as artist. At what age did you start? Were your parents supportive of it? Tell us about your family? What do your parents do? How many siblings do you have and where are you in the line of descent among them?
My journey as an artist has been along hard road. I have worked with the arts as long as I can remember. But until I was eighteen, I never really accepted it. Due to the culture my parents, growing up to become an artist was truly horrifying for them because while this is now changing, Mexico places a low value on art and artist. Over time however they have grown to accept it. My parents both work in service-based industries, which contributed to their fear I was throwing my life away in a field that makes little money. I am the eldest of three children. I have a brother and a sister, both of whom I expect a lot from.
How long, how often and how dedicated are you to art? Is it your full-time job? What else do you do?
For me art is not a job, but it is my obligation to share how I see the world in hopes that it may help and inspire others. I dedicate nearly all my time to create and improve upon my abilities as an artist.
Tell us about your educational background and your training and competitions joined in regards to painting and photography?
I am currently pursuing an Associate in Arts course and I’ve been fortunate enough to have been mentored in the art of oil painting by Carlos Donjuan and I drew inspiration for photography from Irby Pace who also introduced a wide variety of drawing techniques. I have been urged to enter several competitions dating back to middle school but essentially I feel art is not competitive, it is subjective. Therefore, there is no art better than any other. Though I have been on top of all my art classes, I saw many great artworks of great artists and still hold the belief that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
These two artists you declared in your CV, they are both Mexican? Do you look at and admire artists of other nationalities? Like who?
I admire great artist around the world who are both alive and dead. Such as: Pablo Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Laurie Lipton, Norman Rockwell, Daniel Martin, Andres Serrano, David Choe, Jeremy Fish… to mention a few.
What is the nature of your art? What do you do best? With painting and photography, what is your usual market?
The nature of my art is very subjective because essentially what I’m doing is attempting to illustrate life from my point of view and illustrating life is next to impossible but I strive to create artworks in which everyone is able to come away with a different perspective and introspection of themselves. I do this with any medium necessary which allows me to present the beauty in life. I am able to see the beauty in the small things in life because God is the superior artist. My ultimate goal in art is to break cultural barriers which I am doing with an audience stretching from the U.S. to the Philippines and throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. Many of my original artworks are in private collection in the United States but I would love to place them across the world.
Any exhibits or upcoming events you might like to plug?
My art will soon be hitting the streets of Dallas; also I am soon to be doing the art walk in the Valley View art mall. Also my art will be displayed in galleries across Louisiana.
When do you plan to visit the Philippines? If you’re going, what place or places would you likely want to see?
I plan to visit the capitol in the near future and possibly attend galleries there.
Images courtesy of the artist–Felix Reyes.