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Featured Artist: Wendy James

August/September 2023

Artist Statement:

My artistic family gave me a strong identity as an artist early on. As a child, I freely explored our art books on Bosch, Picasso, Michelangelo, Escher and many others. The art and design work my father did in the mid-century still inspires my deep attraction to abstract and sculptural design. I am both aware and enthusiastic about my work slowly and tentatively evolving toward pure abstraction although that exact path is not known to me yet.

I do not wish to be particularly political or social minded through creation. I simply feel and reflect life through my artwork. I like to laugh a lot. Moments and feelings speak through a design of visual components. I work instinctually to combine, or isolate found objects that speak for me. Pain, joy, horror, fear, humor, anger, love and anxiety are apparent in my palette. Intentionally pairing absurd combinations of reactive components is one of my favorite things to do. It is in fact a strong expression of something akin to sarcasm for me. I enjoy the element of surprise and evoking a thoughtful response in my audience. There is a fine line between shock and bold expression. Oddly, my art is the one place in my life where I seem unafraid to show my inner mind even at the risk of offending the viewer.

I like to use a variety of media and techniques, however, assemblage allows me to achieve the depth, complexity and variety that I crave. I have always loved hunting for interesting old junk. I look for items that I have a response to although most often I have no idea how they will be used when I find them. I hope that my assemblages might feel a little like watching at a short movie that draws you into these odd and uniquely curated situations. At the same time, they may attempt to reach out and off their substrates into reality. For me the real world is truly a collection of unique and interesting moments; sometimes beautiful, sometimes horrible. I feel so very fortunate to have the ability to share this amazing world through the making of my art.

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