CHX VON B is a man of the streets, born in the Danbury studio of local sculptor and art restorer Jim Felice and now living a cultured life abroad. Chx was created after Felice moved his studio from Westchester, New York to a large warehouse on Great Pasture Road in Danbury and invited other artists to utilize the space for their own work. “Chx Von B is street art, a whole program we designed,” Felice explained in an interview.
Chx Von B is a sculpted character head, part clown, part checker piece, and part magnet, but mostly Chx is an interactive sculpture that can be seen and moved around the world. “The whole idea came out of street artists,” Felice explained. “A graffiti artist uses stickers, but they degrade over time. I thought ‘Gee, what can I do besides leaving large sculptures outside?’” And so Chx Von B was born.
“I’m a three-dimensional artist, so I made a three-dimensional piece, and he has a magnet on the back,” he continued. “It’s the idea that it can be an interactive piece. I also have my contact information on the back. So they can snap a picture and tell me where it is.”
Chx is the first character Felice created as a part of “Chx World” in 2011; other inhabitants include Mr. Bones, a skull, and Ricardo, a round, broad-smiling face. Chx and his cohorts can be seen throughout the Danbury area and in Germany, South Africa, Italy, Canada, California, Las Vegas, and France.
Chx and his cohorts can be seen throughout the Danbury area and in Germany, South Africa, Italy, Canada, California, Las Vegas, and France.
“One girl in Germany snagged one and said it is at her home on her refrigerator,” said Felice.
Ricardo has been hanging out in New Jersey next to a Seward Johnson sculpture, and he was even re-mulched into the gardens this past spring. Ricardo has also had some You Tube success as the star in Felice’s “Customer Parking” video set at the Bethel Post Office and filmed last summer:
Felice plans on expanding Chx World with more 3-D street art pieces, by creating a body for Chx and dreaming up smaller characters. Although Jim hasn’t made very many Chx Von Bs, Mr. Bones, or Ricardos in his studio recently, he does plan on keeping the story going.
“I don’t know where it will go and where the story will evolve,” Felice explained. “We will see if it does develop by sharing it and keeping it interactive. It’s the kind of thing that you let go, but I want to do more for the summer. It lulls and then I make a whole bunch.”
Felice’s other works are playful and imaginative, ranging from hell-born checkerboards to clown weddings to shields made from the tops of cars. Felice and his fellow artists regularly open up the studio to the public and offer tours and artist demonstrations. At Felice’s Open Studios, visitors can view incredible graffiti works, a wide-range of sculptures and paintings and a fully-decked out Mario Bros. commode.
Felice’s next Open Studio is Saturday, June 9 from 10am to 4pm at 15 Great Pasture Rd, Unit 15 as a part of Greater Danbury Open House Day.