Spotlight: Spanish Artist Felix R. Cid’s Brings His ‘El Canpo’ State of Mind to a New York Show

Allouche Gallery in Soho will present a new body of work that takes inspiration from Ibiza and ideas of advancing technology.

Felix R. Cid., Untitled (La Bruja Averia no se Hace Vieja y es Amiga de Pablo) (2023). Courtesy of Allouche Gallery, New York.

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What You Need to Know: With an opening reception slated for January 18, New York-based Allouche Gallery will present “Felix R. Cid: A Mechanical Resolution,” the artist’s third solo show with the gallery. On view through February 12, the exhibition focuses on a new body of work by Cid that considers the processes of art-making within the context of technological advancement. With cacophonous color, cyborg-inspired figuration, and an assortment of mediums—including paint, graphite, spray paint, and silicone, to name just a few—Cid’s paintings invite wandering, visual exploration, even excavation. Along with the visual elements, the discernible processes that go into the work are also pivotal to their understanding and appreciation; Cid uses the genre of painting itself as a starting point from which he pursues a boundary-less form of art making.

About the Artist: Originally from Madrid, Spain, Felix R. Cid (b. 1976) began studying and developing his artistic practice at a young age. Between 2004 and 2005, he undertook a graduate program in G.S. at the International Center of Photography, New York, and in 2012 he graduated with his MFA in photography from the Yale University School of Art. Currently based between Ibiza, Madrid, and Brooklyn, Cid has developed a singular working practice self-termed “El Canpo,” an intentionally misspelled version of the Spanish word for “field,” “El Campo.”

As the artist explained: “The poetic power that painting carries is the most conscious way of communicating with nature. That’s why I like to work outdoors and immersed in nature as much as I can, far from human contact and massive infrastructure. I bring enough of that already just being myself in the studio or making the paintings myself.

“That is why I created ‘el Canpo.’ It is a piece of land in Ibiza where I work. Wild and raw. I started calling it this five years ago when I started painting there. But El Canpo is also a state of mind—it is my childhood school playground, it is the park where I spent most of my teen years, it is a place and moment where I want to be. A little universe I permitted myself to create so I can survive in it as I want. El Canpo has its characters that live and exist there only. Trapped in that universe as we are in ours. Every painting I make tells a Canpo story or depicts a Canpo character. The Canpo is held together by the idea of beauty, it is chaotic and effervescent and ultimately dominated by passion. Passion with a purpose is an effective way to spend your life, passion without purpose it is just pain. The work is about this tension. Finding balance in it all. And it is usually a fight.” 

Why We Like It: Each of Cid’s paintings present a world within a world, filled with captivating detail to be discovered and new perspectives to be found. The artist’s unique visual lexicon, evident in representational elements as well as material choices, evokes not only internal narratives and sequences, but the milieu in which Cid created it. The titles, too, offer insight into the artist’s inspirations and musings, reading almost as narrative inclusions, or even at times as diaristic; all formally titled “Untitled,” but with prose-length parentheticals undulating between English and Spanish. These choices coalesce into a singular artistic line of inquiry that is at once rigorous yet playful. In works such as Untitled (El Hidalgo Indignado y Confundido About His Lack of Capacity to Understand Political Reactions on the West Over the new AI issues and How This will Affect His Ride) (2023), the figure of El Hidalgo (a gentleman, or Spanish nobleman) looms as a technicolor central figure nearly obscured by surrounding detail, paralleling the concerns with technology clouding the Anthropocene.

See featured works from the exhibition below.

Felix R. Cid, Untitled (El Hidalgo Indignado y Confundido About His Lack of Capacity to Understand Political Reactions on the West…) (2023). Courtesy of Allouche Gallery, New York.

Felix R. Cid, Untitled (Este Pobre Can’t Find el Canpo. Claro, Como el 88%, But He’s Trying) (2023). Courtesy of Allouche Gallery, New York.

Felix R. Cid, Untitled (Joder Como se ha Puesto el Diesel! Si Pues Mira el Pablo!) (2023). Courtesy of Allouche Gallery, New York.

Felix R. Cid, Untitled (Y Dale Con el Skeletor y el Canpo, Would You Please Stop That and Do Your Homework Mr. Heisenberg?) (2023). Courtesy of Allouche Gallery, New York.

Felix R. Cid, Untitled (There is No Such Thing as a Quantum Revolution en el Canpo) (2023). Courtesy of Allouche Gallery, New York.

Felix R. Cid: A Mechanical Resolution” is on view at Allouche Gallery, New York, January 18–February 12, 2024.

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