Interview with Wyatt Mills
NY based artist, Wyatt Mills' work hits you like a unexpected punch in the face- You are at first stunned and then suddenly your complete focus is targeted on what you are faced with. His painting technique is fearless and communicates a fury akin to some wild beast that just broke out of the zoo. The raw subject matter he explores is consistently presented in a composition style that triumphantly defies convention. Profile image (above) by Karl Clinger All other images by Robert Ferrone
What fuels the images you create? I forgot who said it, but I once read 'anxiety is the hand-maiden of creativity'.
When do you know you've really found your creative groove? When I have no idea what I’m doing, but my hands seem to be very occupied.
What appeals to you about mixing unsettling imagery into your work? If the world was a happy place filled with pink poodles and hula hoops, maybe I’d paint that. But I’ll quote Max Ernst, 'In what an age of darkness we must live when these things have to be stated.' I simply am holding up a mirror to what I see around me, trying to capture the real emotion of how I perceive it in my reality.
What do you believe in? I am not religious, but the largest force is the energy in the universe, which we all have inside of us. The more I am able tap into it the better I am able to paint.
What old master painter has inspired you? Bacon, Freud, Picasso, Schiele, DuChamp, Otto Dix, Dali, Frank Auerbach, Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Poussin, Ingres, the list goes on… You can learn so much from all of them but at the end of the day, it's important to realize that this is 2013, and to simply replicate what they have already done isn't taking us anywhere. People are walking out of "Chainsaw Massacre 3D" and it's not easy to grab their attention with a canvas. Some newer artists that I find more relevant are Natalie Frank, Anthony Lister, Greg Haberny and Jenny Saville.
How many revisions does an average work go through? I'll paint over a piece usually about 5 times, sometimes if I’m sick of it, other times if it's just not working... until I get mad, then things usually start to improve.
What do you despise about the art world? ‘Weenieism’ is what I like to call most of the shit you see in galleries these days… aka people who have tricked themselves into believing an artist statement that they don’t necessarily stand for but it sounds smart and sells... so they go along with it and the results are very unnatural and boring, except to other weenies.