University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
chgs@umn.edu
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CHGS

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.

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 Memories: Portraits & Conversations with Survivors of the Shoah

In February 2013, Felix de la Concha, a prominent Spanish artist, collaborated with CHGS to include Twin Cities Holocaust survivors in his latest portrait series, Portraying Memories: Portraits and Conversations with Survivors of the Shoah.

De la Concha painted survivors of the Shoah (Holocaust) from all over the world. While posing, his subjects talked about their lives and shared their testimonies of survival. These sessions were recorded and depict the portraits transformation from a blank canvas to the finished piece; providing the viewer with a powerful and emotionally charged, multidimensional representation of the encounter with his sitters.

Eight local survivors participated in the project; their portraits and testimony appear on the CHGS YouTube channel along with the 31 other survivors who sat with De la Concha between 2007 and 2013.  The entire project can be viewed by clicking here.

Gus Gutman
Gus Gutman sitting for his portrait, February 2013.

Minnesota Surviors of the Shoah: Portraying Memories

To view individual portrait videos click on the paintings. To view the entire project click here.

Gus GutmanGus Gutman

Herb FantleHerb Fantle

Walter SchwartzWalter Schwartz

Victor VitalVictor Vital

Max GoodmanMax Goodman

Edith GoodmanEdith Goodman

Fred AmramFred Amram

Lucy SmithLucy Smith

Portraits with Video: 2008-2010

Betty LauerBetty Lauer

Daniella SzeflanDaniella Szeflan

Hannah FranklinHannah Franklin

Leon TenenbaumLeon Tenenbaum

Regina EnglebergRegina Engelberg

Shlomo VeneziaShlomo Venezia

Siegfried MeirSiegfried Meir

Jaime VandorJaime Vandor

Imre Rochlitz
Imre Rochlitz

Portraits with Audio: 2007-2008

Other Projects

THE LONGEST STORY OF BILBAO EVER PAINTED at SENE
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)

Updated July 2014.