|Biography from Spaightwood Galleries:|
|Los Angeles, California native John Wesley moved to New York in
1960. He became prominent in the early sixties creating images of
traditional emblems, historical figures, comic book personalities,
animals, sexy women, athletes and showgirls into surreal daydreams.
Wesley is known for his pastel palette, his use of painted "frames"
within his pictures, his early emblem paintings, his cartoon Bumstead
paintings, and "ultimately for his representations of an inner erotic
voyage where we are both the voyager and the voyeur." |
tracing paper and stock photographs, Wesley's colorful and figurative
style reflect the "flat" world of comics and posters. Other influences
on his work range from Surrealism to Art Nouveau, from ancient Greek
pottery to Matisse.
As a press release for the
January-February 2001 exhibition of his work at the Harvard University
Art Museums points out, "Wesley has been painting acutely sexual,
intensely observed, narrative paintings for more than 40 years. The
conspicuous characteristics of his work since the early seventiesits
insistent flatness, powdered pastel palette, cartoon/cinematographic
narratives, embrace of the sexually charged encounter, sophisticated
anthropomorphism, and mannered drawinghave enormous appeal for younger
painters inspired by a digital revolution to rethink the medium:
Wesley's painting looks like nothing else out there."
Norden, the curator at the Fogg who organized the show on Wesley notes,
"Wesley's paintings can be frighteningly funny, poignant, and just
plain weird; but there is a complex pictorial intelligence driving this
body of work."
The Pop Image: Prints & Multiples (NY: Marlboroush Graphics, 1994)
Marco Livingstone, POP ART: A Continuing History (NY: Abrams, 1990),
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