Feltus is a veteran representational artist known for his close-hued paintings of figures who carry an air of self-absorption tinged with melancholy. Remarkably, Feltus works without models, and for years has used mirrors, referring to himself as the starting point for the faces and bodies of both his male and female figures. Seeing his works together is just a bit uncanny: it's a bit like attending a Feltus family reunion. The upstairs exhibition area at the Lux has 14 Feltus originals on display -- a dozen oils and two drawings -- where they emanate burnished quietude and a hint of august strangeness.
I'm not making a duplicate of the lost painting, but a variation on that earlier painting. It has already changed a good bit in the last two weeks. I have to allow a painting to change and grow as I work on it. I want changes to take place from day to day, layer to layer. At first the changes are to locate things, which means to shift them around until the relationships between the parts (the objects or forms), and between those forms and the edges of the painting, are what I consider right. They have to take on a meaning in terms of the composition. They have to become right in my judgement.
His setup includes a selection of postcards that are there to provide inspiration and guidance. The early version of "Santa Felicita" is there under Francisco Zurbaran's "A Cup of Water and a Rose," along with a Hellenistic Venus, paintings by Balthus, Courbet, Gorky and others. Feltus moves easily between the classical and the contemporary, as his sources demonstrate.