Behind-the-Scenes with “Art Works Every Time” Artist: Jesse Wiedel


Above: Jesse Wiedel in his Studio; Below: Jesse Wiedel "Frozen F", 2010

Today’s featured “Art Works Every Time” artist is Jesse Wiedel. Wiedel describes his unique blend of metaphysical trailer-park angst as “trashy yet mystical;” Wiedel finds the complexity in actions taken out of context and placed within a cheap motel, the dialectical meaning in the iconography of the van, the spiritual gesture of a face-shoving match, the hostility in a complacent family vacation portrait. His works are uncannily American, displaying a David Lynch-like curiosity in society’s two-faced duplicity, its simultaneous suburban superficiality and seedy underbelly. At once dark and humorous, Wiedel’s works startle and shock through their sheer familiarity.

Jessie Wiedel, "Desert Moon", 2010

Jesse Wiedel, "Desert Moon", 2010

Describe your aesthetic.

I guess I would describe my aesthetic as trashy, yet mystical. I’m very influenced by Jehovah’s Witness pamphlet art, lonely desert towns, and the daily pedestrian dramas in my hometown.

Jessie Wiedel, "Haunted Trailer Park #2", 2010

Jesse Wiedel, "Haunted Trailer Park #2", 2010

Describe the works you have in the upcoming “Art Works Every Time” exhibition.

You guys picked out some of my most hostile paintings!  Most of these paintings have some sort of violent altercation happening in them. These paintings are satirical of violent behavior, rather than glorifications.

“Desert Moon” was painted after I spent a week in Las Vegas, and shows a group of zombies wandering down a deserted motel strip in their bathrobes.  People there seemed in some sort of hypnotic state (probably brought on by the hyper-twinkly sounds bursting from all the slot machines) that I translated as zombie-ism, although I never personally saw anybody eat somebody else’s face.   “Five Ten Third” shows an angry woman throwing a keg towards a van window.  I’ve always thought of vans as sinister objects, so it’s kind of a battle of good versus evil, or in this case just scary versus evil. “Haunted Trailer Park #2” shows two fellows having what could be either a faith-healing session or a shoving session out in the desert.  I did a series of paintings inspired by the area around the Salton Sea.  With that series, I tried to imagine people interacting in those haunted vacant neighborhoods, like frustrated ghosts of neighborhoods past suddenly made visible.   The paintings, “Bring me the Head of..” and “Frozen F”, are kind of personal and obscure in meaning, and were meant only as meditations on anger at the time they were made.

Jessie Wiedel, "Bring Me the Head of...", 2010

Jesse Wiedel, "Bring Me the Head of...", 2010

Words of advice for other artists, designers, creatives?

Don’t worry about how people will feel about your paintings until after you make them.

Jessie Wiedel, "Five Ten Third", 2010

Jesse Wiedel, "Five Ten Third", 2010

Come see Jesse’s work in person at the “Art Works Every Time” exhibition, opening June 12th at Synchronicity Gallery, from 8pm-10pm.

Go here for more details.


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