Paintings and Art Books
Don grew up in a house of creativity and imagination. His father, Joe Oriolo, is credited with creating the modern day Felix the Cat cartoon, and Don’s talents stem directly from the influence and encouragement of his father. Having taken over the Felix franchise when Joe passed away in the mid-80’s, Don was already deeply involved with Felix, whom he refers to as his “creative muse.” He implemented modern-day licensing and marketing strategies to launch the franchise into new markets, thus giving generations old and new, and around the globe, the opportunity to fall in love with Felix all over again.
But beyond giving Felix an international audience, Don’s deep involvement with Felix allowed him to identify with the cartoon on a personal level. Fueled by the “need to create” so prevalent in nearly every aspect of Don’s life, he began to draw and paint “Felix portraits” on a regular basis. These pictures of Felix present the cartoon cat in ways never before seen, both in context and style. Mediums of every stripe — from acrylics to pastels and everything in between — are used to create paintings of Felix in a myriad of styles including abstract, surrealism, cartoonism and much more.
Calling Don a prolific artist doesn’t really do justice to his insatiable appetite for creativity. While he was always an artist, it was the passing of his brother and sister that led to a ceaseless drive to paint and create. He paints nearly every day, usually using Felix as a subject, and dedicates these paintings to his siblings and other family members no longer with us. In that way, painting is an outlet of personal expression, as well as a remembrance to those whom helped Don become the artist he is today.
Don has released several books of his Felix paintings, the latest being “Another Book of Felix the Cat Paintings: A Second Collection of Paintings from the Prolific Imagination of the Felix the Cat Guy.” His artwork in every medium can be found in galleries around the world, and he continues to add to his body of work daily.
In January 2017, Don opened Zazoo Fine Art Gallery in Key West, Florida, showcasing not only his own art, but that of myriad other prolific fine artists, many of whose works are also grounded in pop culture.