Felix Gonzalez Torres

Alternative Name(s): -
Date of Birth: November 26, 1957
Place of Birth: Guaimaro, Cuba
Date of Death: January 9, 1996
Focus: Sculptor, Photographer, Conceptual artist
Art movement: Contemporary art, Conceptual art
Nationality: American, Cuban

Famous Felix Gonzalez Torres Artwork

Felix Gonzalez Torres Biography

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, a Cuban-born American sculptor, photographer and conceptual artist, was raised in Puerto Rico and Spain. In 1979, he moved to New York City and began studying at Pratt Institute, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography in 1983. By 1987, he had earned an Master of Fine Arts in photography from the International Center of Photography.

After graduating from the International Center of Photography, he began working with artists Julie Ault and Doug Ashford in an artist’s collaborative termed Group Material. Their exhibits were intended to invite opinions about highly political and controversial subjects like democracy, consumerism and the relationship of art and the viewer.

In his own artwork, Gonzalez-Torres continued to look at the subject of the relationship between the artwork and the viewer and expanded this idea to the relationship between public and private space. Felix Gonzalez-Torres was openly gay, and he also created artwork centering on themes of homosexual identity.

Best known for installations that invite the viewer to participate within the art experience, Gonzalez-Torres arranged several exhibits with stacks of printed paper that were arranged to resemble minimalist sculptures. Once the viewer began to interact with the exhibit, by picking up, reading and moving the paper, the artwork changed form. In this same venue, Gonzalez-Torres also created exhibits with candy spills, where the viewer would actually pick up and eat pieces of candy.

After a lifetime of challenging our perception of artwork and creating a new version of modern art, Felix Gonzalez Torres died of AIDS in 1996.