Born in 1975
Lives and works in New York, USA.
The main motifs in this economical iconography are arrows, staircases, ladders and stars — for they resist the habitual classifications of representation. Beyond their semantic effectiveness, they above all reflect the speed of a gesture. Detached from virtuoso authority, and accessible to all, Felton’s painting expresses a certain composure, a calm disrespect for whatever might be thought of the painter’s profession and his various schools. The artist Dan Walsh, whose assistant Felton once was, likes to describe his initial works as Peter Halleys painted by Philip Guston: a rigorous composition ‘loosened up’ by a style suggestive of cartoons. Again, Felton’s painting could be described as Martin Barré painted by Keith Haring: a pursuit of sobriety and fragments expressed by means of figuration libre. Yet we should not see this as some postmodern game in which references are ironically erased. Felton’s (and indeed Walsh’s) work displays a belief in the process of painting rather than its completion. As the critic Jill Gasparina has written, ‘Assembling colours in a certain order on the flat surface of a prepared canvas ... is not a way to obtain an artefact fit to decorate an interior or occupy vacant space in an art centre, but a total activity that organises the whole of life.’ Here painting is understood first of all as a banal activity, on the same level as those that mark the artist’s everyday life, subject to the whims of his moods, of time, the people he meets and the things he reads.