Feliciano Béjar – born 1920 Mexico
Feliciano Béjar Ruíz was a Mexican artist and artisan, best known for a style of sculpture called “magiscopios” which involved various materials along with crystals and lenses to play with light or create distorted visions.
Béjar was born in rural central Mexico and was completely self-taught as an artist. He was creative as a young child, drawing and creating his first sculpture like pieces from papier-mâché. His art career began in New York, where he had travelled and lived for a time in Hell’s Kitchen.
Béjar drew the attention of Arthur Ewart and Frances Coleman, with the latter helping him have his first exhibition and whose husband helped sponsor his time in Europe. The magiscopes arose from an intense interest in light and the sun, which began when he saw a boy in Italy playing with reflections of the sun in puddles. Images of the sun appeared in his painting and sculpture, developing into the use of crystals and lenses.
In his later life, Béjar withdrew from the art world for about sixteen years, disillusioned with it and retreating to his ranch in the State of Mexico. He returned in 1998, with a retrospective of his work in Mexico City and continued to show his work until shortly before his death.