Today we’d like to introduce you to Felix Semper.
Felix, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I think you are born with the gift to create art and As a young child I was always artistic, I wanted to be an animator but as I got older I was never able to pursue that dream, life took me on a different path, I got married and had a family got a job and forgot about my art, years later I became a real estate developer and custom home builder I was able to input my artistic creativity to my designs and developments as the 2008 housing crisis unveiled I had over five custom million dollar homes that could not sell and the banks wanted their money, I went bankrupt and lost everything I had built for years.
As I look back these were tough times but a crucial turning point in my life for I had to look deep inside to find my passion, I started painting and drawing like a madman I sunk myself in art in order not to go crazy but I was also healing and finding my way. I loved my art so much I couldn’t wait till the next day to make more art. One day I was at my home and it started to snow really heavy it must of been over two ft. of snow on the ground I went outside and began to play with the snow and to carve a snowman I had never sculpted before as I was sculpting this snow it began to take the shape of a man and a woman as I completed this snow sculpture I was amazed and called my wife to see what I had done she immediately said to “take some sculpture classes cause you are a natural at this” so I did took night sculpture classes with local sculptors I soon realized that I was really good and that if I wanted to make a career of this I needed to be different and innovative and cannot follow what everyone was doing, so I started experimenting with different mediums like wood, plastic, metal, etc. but as an artist I was always surrounded by paper as I drew, painted, wrote on paper on a daily basis the idea came to me to glue the papers together onto a solid block and carve it like wood and it worked! I experimented with this for months and research on how to make it move as I always loved animation it came to me that if I glued this paper in a special way they could be animated just like the flip animation booklets I used to have as a child, after a year and a half it all came together and I have been doing this ever since, I am always looking for new innovative and creative ways to make art, I feel that movement and art is in everything.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My stretchable paper sculptures are inspired by everyday items such as culture, pop art, my surroundings, music, places I travel and people I meet. The sculptures are in fact entirely comprised of layers of paper glued into blocks that are then able to be carved. They are made from glued layers of paper that when it is manipulated to move as this fluid movement gives my sculptures their playful mobility. I have transformed the media to stretch, twist, elongate and retract. My work on paper has been an art passion that began with the study of sculpture, and my deep desire to make sculptures that have never been seen before, the medium of “Paper that Stretches” thru out trials and experimentation in the past Four years has come to where it is today. All my artwork is 100% original, I carve my sculptures with no computer or laser aide of any kind, only by studying photographs views of the person or Item I decide to carve. along the way I have developed not only this paper medium but also ‘Flexible wood” this are this slices of wood that can be twisted and turned and the sculpture can be manipulated to change its look and feeling as desired, I also developed ‘Hinged wood sculpture” This is done by hinging pieces of wood together on both sides and then carving the exterior of wood block, after is carved I graffiti and paint the inside walls to create a second work of art on the interior of the sculpture as you open and reveal what is there.
I am currently working on a Bob Marley sculpture of this kind. I also developed “Bust-on-a-Book sculptures” I carve on recycled books such as Marilyn Monroe, Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh and the ultimate outcome is a bust on a book. Lastly I have made sculptures from vinyl records which it has also never been done before because of its fragile composition, I take stacks of vinyl LP and stack them up, I begin to carve just as I do with my other sculptures with the exception that I melt the face of these records to shape my sculpture bust, and the final product is a sculpture bust completely made from records, the bust I made was of Jimi Hendrix.
I was born in Cuba and grew up in Spain. My mission is to create art that is unique one-of-a-kind, and to keep exploring new and innovative ways to make art. I draw my inspiration from my surroundings, music, places I travel and people I meet. My plans for the future are to keep exploring new and innovative ways to create art and to share it with the world to hopefully make it a better place and bring smiles and happiness to those who see my work. For those who have never heard about me and my work, they should know that I create one-of-a-kind paper sculptures that stretches and twists beyond the imagination.
It takes me anywhere from a week to months to create a single paper sculpture. I got started creating paper sculptures because I have always wanted to be an animator and I worked with paper on a daily basis as an artist so I decided to incorporate both onto one medium, it took me over a year to develop the opening mechanism of the paper and I have been doing it since for about five years.
What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
Art is an individual thing you must search deep inside and bring that out, it takes solitude and self-awareness for that to happen, to connect with other artists you can reach out thru Social Media etc.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can view and purchase my work online on Social Media and my website www.felixsemper.com.
- Website: www.felixsemper.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: felixsemper
- Facebook: felix semper-artist
- Twitter: fsemper