May 24, 2013
" The stories and inspiration behind my paintings stem from life’s emotions and experiences, resulting in narrative, allegorical imagery that illustrates the parallels between human experience and the mysteries of the natural world. The lonely, desolate American landscape encompassing the paintings’ subjects serves as an exploration of nature’s sacredness and a reflection of the human soul, symbolizing all things powerful, fragile, and eternal. These real yet dreamlike scenarios serve as metaphors for the human condition, all retaining a sense of vagueness because I wish to involve the viewer in uncovering the various layers of mood and meaning to form their own conclusions, despite the fact that my main idea will always be present. As a people, we share a common thread, and as active participants in an ever-changing modern world, the purpose of my work is to remind viewers of these places that we feel no longer exist, and to recognize and honor them as a part of our history that is worth preserving. In juxtaposing the human form with animals and a bygone uninhibited American landscape, I provide glimpses into “rooms,” those oftentimes chaotic places we possess internally. The rural, Midwestern landscape of my home state serves as backdrop for the stage of human emotions and the animals present are vehicles for expressing the feelings and underlying tensions suppressed behind the human mask. Symbolic explorations of the soul and events concerning our environment are expressed through the combination of these elements to transform personal ideas into universal metaphors." - Andrea Kowch
May 24, 2013
(American, born November 25, 1928) is an American painter whose work bridges the aesthetics of Pop Art and Minimalism in both subject matter and style. A self-taught artist, Wesley began painting in 1953, while working as an illustrator for Northrop Aircraft in Los Angeles. His early career in the aircraft industry influenced his art, and lead to the presence of the airplane as a recurring motif in his work. In 1959, he married the American painter Jo Baer (b.1929), and one year later the couple moved to New York City, where Wesley would become part of the Pop Art movement and maintain close friendships with American Minimalist sculptors Donald Judd (1928–1994) and Dan Flavin (1933–1996). Although Wesley’s work often expressed more playful qualities than the work Judd created, Judd was an immediate and important sponsor of Wesley’s paintings, positively reviewing his shows and helping him to establish his reputation as an artist. Although Wesley adopted the flattened and brightly colored forms of Pop Art, his work did not criticize consumerism and seemed removed from Pop Art’s goals as he turned more to narrative, combining cartoon elements into his particular brand of high art.