Felix Ludwig Neumann is a native of southern Germany, from a rural town near Munich, Bavaria. He was introduced to art by his uncle, a criminal convict who produced a flamboyant travesti show that toured Europe during the 70’s and 80’s. Revues and travesti bursted into grand fashion and movies like ‘Cabaret’ and ‘All That Jazz’ spiraled its rennaissance. Neumann started graphic work, music composition and singing education at young age and soon developed a fascination for revolving identities, travesti and charades of various kinds. Addiction and the shift in personality, that comes with it, has been an internal family experience throughout. After a stint at LMU Munich and graduating with a law diploma he diverged into music composition at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduated and then worked for an experimental 35-piece-Orchestra in Brooklyn. He started writing operas, while – in visual arts – he added colours and canvas to graphite and paper. His sense of synesthesia in painting, writing and composing has been steadily growing, so has his interest in canvases close to theatrical dimensions.
Felix Ludwig Neumann teases the spectator into larger tableaus. He makes use of friendly colours like pastels of pink and turquoise, employs straight graphic forms and shapes of human body parts in vivid gestures. The tableaus are relatable and attractive. Beneath the inviting surface, there lures something else, deeper and darker. Dominance and deception, travesti and codes, seduction. Paintings easy to enter, but uneasy to dwell. He does not want to shock, he says. Still Neumann generates doubt and a sort of fertile insecurity. He lures to an unsafe place, strips the viewer of his expectations to open up a more intimate and evolved perspective.
“On one hand I needed to escape the devastating presence of addiction in my family. On the other hand I have always been fascinated by the layered character of my uncle, his open and communicative nature, his absence of fear from his mind, his masochism and cruel exploitive abilities. He was incredibly fun to be with, I understood that. I was a child. I loved this human being, this creature. I was hooked. The notion of unhinged danger, yet caring, though totally unrestrained. His presence, this “über-real” sensation I long to recreate in painting, writing and composing.”