Charismatic and influential artist, curator, and gallery owner, George Febres (1943–1996) was a spirited participant in the resurgence of New Orleans as a regional art center beginning in the 1970s. Immigrating to New Orleans from Ecuador in 1965, Febres embraced the local art community and graduated from the fine arts programs at the University of New Orleans (UNO) and Louisiana State University (LSU).
Febres’s work incorporated surrealist and pop art elements with humorous, imaginative, and outrageous visual puns, as in his most well known piece, “Alligator Shoes (Thom McCann Eat Your Heart Out).”
George Febres is credited with starting the art movement called Visionary Imagism in his adopted hometown of New Orleans. His unrestrained and bold imagination and humor won him admirers the world over. His life in New Orleans was a myriad of roles, from artist to art collector to curator and gallery founder. This put him in a central position of the art renaissance that unfolded in the city in the 1970s.
Febres worked with frescoes, mixed media, mosaic, pencil on paper. Although his work showed a strong influence of Surrealism and Pop art, he expanded this into Visionary Imagism.