University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Felix de la Concha

Félix de la Concha was born in León, Spain, in 1962. From 1981 to 1985 he studied at the Facultad de Bellas Artes in Madrid. He was awarded the Prix de Rome at the Academia de Bellas Artes in 1989, and worked in Rome until 1994. In 1995 he moved to the United States with his wife, poet Ana Merino. He resides in Iowa City, Iowa, and Madrid, Spain.

His paintings are always done on site, in order to capture an accurate light, and study the passage of time. He focuses on architectural subjects, not only with prominent buildings, such as Fallingwater but also on common and even deteriorated places (gas stations, street lights, abandoned trailers, burned houses…). He does individual compositions and very often series of paintings and polyptychs.

He has focused on a particular format of portraiture. In video, the sitter can be seen talking, and the painting evolving from blank canvas to the very conclusion of the work.

Portraying Memory: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors

Gus Gutman

Portraits of Holocaust survivors from different countries accompanied by recorded testimonies. Undertaken in an intimate setting with time allowed for interaction, the survivors are invited to tell their story as their portrait is painted. In February of 2013 Felix came to Minnesota, painting and recording eight local survivors. The portraits and testimonies will exhibit in the Spring of 2014 and will have a permanent home at the Center and the University of Minnesota.

A website devoted to the eight Minnesotan portraits and Felix's entire Holocaust survivor paintings will be announced soon.

Excerpt: Portraying Memories: Gus Gutman


Prominent Spanish Artist Portrays Holocaust Survivor: 6-12-2009

Other Projects

Trailer of documentary film.

Félix de la Concha paints portraits of elderly people living in Bilbao, people near to and over 100 years old. While posing, his subjects talk about their lives in the Basque Country. The viewer follows the emotional interviews while the artist captures, with astonishing fidelity, every trace of their faces.

Although aware of being recorded during their portrait process, these elderly subjects tell their stories with a different vanity than that of younger people and they recount facts that, were the speakers not older, few would declare in public.

Felix de la Concha CV (PDF)


Photo: Gus Gutman