Felix Maldonado "flex"
FELIX MALDONADO JR. - b. 1971, Artist / Art Director / Muralist
A proud native of East Chicago, Indiana, Felix is a self-taught artist with 25+ years experience in painting, drawing and graffiti art. In 1995, he received his BFA in Advertising with a minor in Graphic Design from the American Academy of Art in Chicago. His work has landed him at several ad agencies in Chicago directing and producing commercials for companies like Culligan Water, Peoples Energy, Roto-Rooter, Head Tennis and ATA Airlines.
In 2003 he partnered to create CISA Studio,LLC. a creative services company producing work locally and around the country from murals, kustom paint and airbrushing to advertising, design and multimedia. clients included; the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, The Enviromental Educational Center, The Indiana Visitor's Center, Horseshoe Casino, Tortillas Nuevo Leon, Ni-Source, Reaper's Realm Haunted Attractions and the list goes on. Felix also has an extensive history of solo and group art exhibitions in the Midwest and throughout the country, exhibiting at the South Shore Arts Center- Munster, CISA Gallery- Hammond, The Mexican Fine Arts Museum- Chicago, Art Expo- Chicago, Swope Museum-Terre Haute, SOMArts Museum-San Francisco, the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago ( gracing the cover of the catalog ) and at the Armory's Fountain Art Fair in New York City.
Felix Maldonado is an artist in every sense of the word. His passion and enthusiasm for this subject is evident in everything he makes. One particular body of work, that demonstrates many of his abilities and could quite possibly be his strongest work, is a series of portraits of graffiti artists entitled “Graffiti aHead”. Felix has chosen these people to paint because of his admiration and respect for them as graffiti artists. This comes across in the work in various ways, first and foremost the size of the works.
He creates a nonpareil perspective into the world of portrait art- He begins by sitting each subject down for a photograph. Encouraged to pose in such a manner that represents themselves, their individualities come alive frame by frame. This initial photo session is imperative to Felix’s creative process for portraits as this is where he begins his “visual conversation” . These larger than life portraits command attention and respect, which Felix bestows upon these people. The detail in the faces of the subjects is made with care but also with a spontaneous and physical manner synonymous to the medium they all use- the spray can.
“While most see a furrow of an eyebrow as just that, I see this gesture as a continuous pause in color reaction and refraction; an ever-changing palate with every expression made”.
In 2016, Felix was commissioned by the city of Gary, Indiana and RDA to create the now iconic, 4 story “Jackson 5” mural centrally located on 5th and Broadway Avenue.