Felix D’ Eon specialises in creating fantasies and making artistic fantasies come true.
Born in Guadalajara, Felix later moved to Southern California, attended college at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and stayed there until 2010, when he decided to return to his native Mexico. Felix travels extensively and likes to explore the world. He has exhibited around the United States and Mexico, while his work is being carried in stores and galleries around the world; not to mention his Instagram account has conquered the world of social media.
Felix D’ Eon is enraptured by various art-historical styles, such as Edwardian fashion and children’s book illustration, golden-era American comics, and Japanese Edo printmaking. In his work, he attempts to make the illusion of antiquity complete, using antique papers and careful research as to costume, set, and style. He subverts their “wholesome” image and harnesses their style to a vision of gay love and sensibility.
D’Eon treats vintage illustrative styles as a rhetorical strategy, using their language of romance, economic power, and aesthetic sensibility as a tool with which to tell stories of historically oppressed and marginalised queer communities. By painting images of queer love, seduction, sex, and romance, the gay subject is stripped of its taboo nature. In the artists work, the illustrative imagery of the past does not cease to be wholesome through the inclusion of gay sex and sensibilities. He simply expands the notion of what wholesome is, erasing shame and celebrating desire.
YASS had the pleasure to meet Felix D’ Eon and this is the verdict. Enjoy responsibly!
Who is Felix D’ Eon?
I’m a Mexican-American artist born in Guadalajara but who spent most of my life in California. I live in Mexico now. I’m gay, a world-traveller, and married. I have three adorable dogs.
Is that your real name?
How would you describe your work?
Re-imaginings of vintage illustrations, to include queer voices and images.
Where do you get your inspiration?
All over the place! from the people around me, and from the kinds of vintage illustrations I love, and shots out of the blue while standing in the shower. I spend all day giggling about the things I am going to paint.
Is your work a celebration of homoerotic love and seduction and an ode to the beauty of the male body?
Yes! But I love female bodies too, and transgender bodies. I love bodies in general, and celebrate queer love in all its diversity.
What is the message you would like to convey through your work?
Inclusivity and love, and an erasure of shame.
How would you describe your technique?
Do you do rehearsals with real models before you draw?
Yes. I have models come by the studio and take photos; my paintings are based on those photos.
Do you like to create fantasies?
How can someone become the subject of your work and participate in your artist’s diary?
Anybody! People ask me all the time if they can pose for me, or my friends, or people I meet while just leading my day to day life.
Do you also participate in your photoshoots as a model?
I do! A ton.
How would you describe the ideal man?
Open-hearted, generous, kind, funny, and adventurous. Luckily, I married a man just like that! (oh, and sexy, too).
Who are the people you admire?
People who devote themselves to the betterment of other people. People who make heroic sacrifices. People whose names may not have come down through history, but who were willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of someone else.
What is the reason behind the vintage feeling and the nostalgia of your work?
I want to expand the kinds of historical images I love (children’s book illustration, vintage advertizing) to include queer sensibilities. I intend to address our absence as gay people from history, and to give us images of romance and love which straight people have long enjoyed.
Who would you like to work with?
Il Sodome. And Praxitales. I wouldn’t mind illustrating the work of some gay authors; it would be amazing to collaborate (if I could invent a time machine) with Oscar Wilde and Jean Genet. A living author would be Sarah Waters.
What is like to work as a queer artist in Mexico? Have you encountered any taboos or resistance from non-LGBTQ people?
It’s easy. I live in Mexico City, which is super liberal. It is not different from living in New York or London. I think it would be harder if I lived someplace smaller or more conservative.
What are your plans for the future?
Keep on painting!
What is art for you?
Whatever an artist says it is.
How have social media helped you become famous and how do you handle that?
I’ll let you know when I become famous!
How a typical day of yours like?
I get up, walk the dogs, paint, paint paint, have a model or two come by in the evening, strip off my clothes and hang out naked with my husband and roommates while drinking mezcal and enjoying a lovely evening with friends. My days involve lots of nudity and jewels.
What makes you smile?
Nudity and jewels.
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*all images are courtesy of Felix D’ Eon