Photos courtesy of Photojennic Inc. and Felix.
Los Angeles based street artist Felix is the real deal! As you are about to read, I was fortunate enough to interview the reclusive artist and he gave me a rare sneak peak into his life. From quoting Hunter S. Thompson to scaling the walls of LA putting up art for the masses to see, you’ll soon discover that Felix is way more than just a cat with nine lives.
According2g: What got you into street art?
Felix: When I was about 14 or 15 my mom brought home a “World Graffiti” book and it featured all the best [artists]. So one person I took a liking to was Invader. My parents redid the bathroom in our house and we had left over tiles from the floor, so I used to cut stencils out of thick cardboard boxes and paint ’em up! Then [I’d] steal some high power glue my pops kept in the garage and I think the rest is history. I never pushed it as hard as I am now though, that’s for sure.
Felix: Heroes/influences would be Invader, Obey, Fake Stencils, Eelus, Revok and pretty much everyone coming from MSK LA, AWR. Augor also has been a huge influence as far as getting me into doing more freehand aerosol pieces. I guess I just love all art and get inspired and influenced by most things that just look cool. Also, Hunter S. Thompson and his whole Gonzo Journalism really influences my work too. You can find a doubled thumbed fist in the background of most of my pieces. My current favorites are Nomade because of the mediums they are using and the overall designs they have are bombsauce.
Felix: Believe it or not I have not caught too much grief from using his image. Some people like to hate. But I have really evolved TVs version of Felix into a more of a Fritz The Cat type of character where the dude is – ya know, not so nice. I hand painted a version of him for a poster and I put Xs on the eyes. I have always been a huge fan of KAWS, so it’s normal for me to use a little bit of what I’m inspired by into my pieces. I got a awesome response when I put it in the street so I decided to run with it and that’s what has become what I call ” The Icon Felix.”
In a sense it is still “Felix the Cat,” but really until I get a cease and desist order, I’ll keep on keeping on. I have some cool designs coming out soon enough that will really portray Felix in a different light than most people are used to. It might actually offend some. Also, I try to mix it up and not just do Felix. I have a ton of other works that have nothing to do with him and are all revolved around quotes I write down that I believe are powerful enough to help the blindfold slip off society’s nasty face… Then I’ll throw a fat happy Felix face at ya! It’s what I have done to combat the fact that he is an world icon and I have to somehow make it my own. Haters are always gonna hate! I’m trying to get a couple more of ’em by the end of the week.
Felix: Painting a mural at Burning Man is a pretty wicked experience! I laid out a 25 piece stencil on a 8ft by 8ft section of the back fence, (at the same spot Banksy painted in 2008), and it was so crazy. The wind was howling and I had to wear a mask and respirator all day in the sun because of dust and aerosol. This is way before I even knew how to make paste. All in all it was just epic, as Mr. Sheen would say. But for most, I think they would call a couple of naked people watching you paint pretty bizarre especially when they’d just downed a grip of LSD. Things get weird!
Felix: I’m really into electronic stuff and most of the time I like it quiet. I’ll paint for hours in silence and not say a word. Try it some time.
Felix: Right now there are some plans. Lately I have been doing a lot with Common Cents and HelpDesk Street Art. Those two guys are killing it and we just push and push each other. But it’s definitely not in my best interest not to blast anything were doing. I’m all about just keeping my mouth shut about things until people find it on the street somewhere. In a sense that’s one reason I love doing what I do.
Felix: My favorite time to get up is when its dark. [laughs]. Everything is planned for me so there is no certain time or day I like to go. I treat my trips as if I were robbing a bank but, you know, NOT getting any money! The pleasure is all the same when I’m checking out my piece from the street the next day.
A2G: Have you ever had any close calls?
Felix: Too many! Recently I went up a pretty big billboard on Sunset next to the Spaghetti Factory and if you wanna know something – I’m terrified of heights, but I love climbing and the sensation of being WAY the fuck up. So I get to the top of the massive bill and I just wrapped around some post up there and spilled my stomach! Push Tags was at the bast watching my back so when I got down, I explained to him what happened. He gave me the craziest looking face and said “dude, I thought that was paste falling! ” “Hahahah no buddy, that was my lunch!” So I painted up a 8ft by about 7ft Felix face and went back for revenge. To make a long story short, on the trip down I slipped because I was covered in paste. Luckily we had a rope tied up with knots and it pretty much saved me from having to explain [to everyone] how I broke both of my legs.
Felix: I smoke way too much weed.
Felix: “Too Weird Too Live, Too Rare Too Die” – Hunter S. Thompson
A2G: What’s next for Felix?
Felix: I don’t know, you tell me! I take it day by day and project by project. I do have a book I write in and it’s filled with all sorts of nonsense and ideas for pieces, so hopefully I can really put out some next level shit in the years to come. Yes, I said years! I’m here to stay.
Yes! Thank you so much Felix for a very fascinating look into your life! His work is now showing – on the streets of Los Angeles!