Felipe Cardeña alternates iconography and references from traditional classical art to Pop Art, from cartoons and popular culture, to Indian, Catholic and Buddhist spiritual imagery.
His most recent artwork is based on the idea of surprise and astonishment: large, sometimes monumental, colourful flower compositions, eccentric collages, unusual shapes, strongly exaggerated images, underlining the themes of religion and cultural diversity, a mixture of human and natural forms.
The use of different materials (from paper and canvas, to fabric and embroidery from different cultural traditions around the world), together with a frantic mix of genres, styles, references and iconography, is a perfect metaphor for the immense, aesthetic and conceptual confusion which governs contemporary society. A world, where high and low culture mix and intertwine with each other in a melting pot that is impossible to disentangle. Flowers, fruits, colours, fabrics, embroideries, pop icons, advertising images, cartoons, slogans, decorations; the hierarchies jump out of the works of this mysterious and eccentric artist, the boundary between truth and fiction is overcome, reality is always more fluid and elusive.
Felipe Cardeña is a very well-known artist that nobody has ever seen. The newspaper Corriere della Sera wrote: «The only thing we know is that he was born in Balaguer, Spain, in 1979. The rest of the information we have regarding Felipe Cardeña, like the mysterious artist Banksy, is fragmentary and contradictory”.
He has exhibited his paintings in galleries and museums in China, Europe, USA and South America. Among his major exhibitions have been the Venice Biennial in 2009, 2011 and 2013, Triennale of Milan in 2012, and the Biennial de Fin del Mundo a Valparaíso in Chile in 2015. In 2017 he participated at the Hubei International Contemporary Art Festival in Wuhan, China.