Felipe Cardeña was born in Balaguer (Spain) in 1979. A street mime well as an artist, he lived as an artist “sans papier” in many European and extraeuropean countries, representing, as a performer, scenes from classical and Renaissance iconography for tourists and ordinary people.
In 2005 he partecipated in the exhibition Miracolo a Milano, at the Palazzo della Ragione in Milan, where he stood motionless for six hours, “mimicking” the statue of the beheaded St. John the Baptist. He exhibited, among other, in Milan, Rome, New York, London, Rio de Janeiro, L’Havana, and other countries around the world.
In 2007 he participated in the exhibition (censored by the city administration) Vade Retro – Art and Homosexuality, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi and Eugenio Viola. Again in Milan, in 2007, at the exhibition Street Art Sweet Art, he symbolically hoisted at the entrance of the museum the pirate flag (later stolen by a visitor), thus becoming the “symbol” of taking possession of the Pavilion of Contemporary Art by street artists.
At the end of 2007, he launched the project Power Flower, based on the idea of “surprise” and “wonder”, with large – sometimes monumental – and colorful compositions and collages overflowing with crazy shapes, creating an eccentric and exaggerated effect, based mainly on floral patterns, that touch the themes of the sacred, of different cultural identities, of the contamination of human nature and natural forms: “brightly colorful and multiform puzzles,” Chiara Canali wrote, “that huddle together in a frantic overlapping of shapes of flower and fruit, cut out from gardening magazines with painstaking precision, that form a single installation, created by interlocking identical models that alternate in their continuous variety of shapes and colors and in the condensation or rarefaction of their appearance in a kaleidoscope of fluorescent colours that recall total psychedelia”.
In 2008, he participated in the exhibition Mercalli Scale – the creative earthquake of Italian street art, curated by Gianluca Marziani, for which Felipe created a site-specific work
In 2009 he featured the The Black Dahlia series (a tribute to the age of master crime story), at first at the Fabbrica Borroni of Bollate, in the event organized by Chiara Canali, Take Off, and later at Mystfest, the Annual International Mystery Film Festival of Cattolica. The series, accompanied by tales by Lorenzo Viganò, a journalist of the “Corriere della Sera” and a true crime expert, was presented by the writer Andrea G. Pinketts.
Lorenzo Viganò wrote that Felipe Cardeña collages, “playing with the modern technique of ‘cut and paste’– akin to ‘copy and paste’ but much more audacious and radical – have become a state of consciousness (or of hallucination?), a visual trip, the artistic representation of the lysergic trips prescribed in the Sixties by Timothy Leary as a treatment ‘to expand human consciousness’, and sang by the Jefferson Airplane in White Rabbit, a real hymn to the psychedelic culture. “
In July 2009 he was invited to participate in Arte Mas 2009, Festival Internacional de Arte y Literatura joven, La Havana (Cuba), organized by La Asociación Cultural CubEArt and curated by Ana Pedroso. On that occasion, Felipe Cardeña presented a series of giant panels (later acquired by the Municipalidad de La Havana), that featured the face of Che Guevara plunged into a floreciente sea. The title of this series, inspired by a famous Cuban song, is “Cuba es un jardín de rosas”.
In November 2009 he participated in the exhibition Beauty Farm at the Durini Foundation of Milan, and in Another break in the wall at the Wannabee Gallery, in Milan; in December he was invited to the exhibition Heart at the Onishi Gallery in New York and at the Asia Art Kay Projects Gallery in Chicago, and to the collective Abraham Lincoln, between history and myth, at the Triennale of Milano.
In 2010 he participated in the exhibition Flowers, curated by Fabio Migliorati (Catalog published by Maretti Editore), with Fulvio Di Piazza, Corrado Bonomi and Dany Vescovi, in three stages: Milan (Superstudio), Forlì (Museums of San Domenico) and Cortona (Palazzo Casali).
Again in 2010, he was among the artists invited to the exhibition Italian Portraits, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna of Cento (Ferrara) and at the Foundation Durini of Milan (Catalog published by Maretti Editore).
In 2010 he participated in the group exhibition Polemically Small, curated by Edward Lucie-Smith, at the Charlie Smith Gallery, in London.
Artist “stateless” par excellence, in 2011 he was invited to exhibit at the 54th. Venice Biennale in two different national pavilions (the Italian Pavilion and the Pavilion of the Republic of Cuba). In 2012 he was invited to participate in the great collective dedicated to the theme of kitsch curated by Gillo Dorfles, Il kitsch oggi, at the Palazzo della Triennale in Milan, in which is retraced the theme of kitsch and its revisions and interpretations in the works of great artists historical and contemporary. In 2013 he exhibited at the 55th. Venice Biennale, in the Syrian Pavilion, featuring an installation of works of different sizes called Mitologica.
In 2014 he was invited to participate in the social project, sponsored by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, Deu Na Telha, in the favela Morro do Alemão, in Rio de Janeiro, where he made over the roofs of the houses a large mural, to make known and promote the art among young people in local communities.
Also in 2014 participated in the social project Hungry for Art – Food Right Now against hunger promoted by CESVI, curated by Christian Gancitano at Superstudio Piu, Milan (Italy). Also in 2014 participates in exhibitions POP UP – Revolution!, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva for Electronic Art Cafè, in Caserma XXIV Maggio in Milan and MDM Museum in Porto Cervo, and in the exhibition Superheroes 2.0, by Silvia Fabbri, Villa Bertelli, Forte dei Marmi.
In November 2014 – February 2015 he was invited to the exhibition Pop Up Italian Show all’Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan (China). Also in 2014 he participated in the Super Pop Women – The female icon in the new pop art, curated by Silvia Fabbri, from Giuseppe Veniero project, Palermo.