Elliott Wright

Richmond, VA | by September 2, 2009


Elliot Wright is a young artist from Rich­mond, VA who cur­rently lives and works here in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. He received his BFA from Frost­burg State Uni­ver­sity in 2007. I caught up with him at his north­west stu­dio to talk about his works in progress and the direc­tion he’s tak­ing them.

Here is an excerpt from his artist state­ment:
“The influ­ence of this work is on the death of my father on April 2007, and the pos­si­bil­ity of his pres­ence occu­py­ing my daily life. The work was a means to address this episode and to cope with what had hap­pened that spring. In the works “Lul­laby” I use inte­rior space to ground the work in a spa­tial con­text of my apart­ment. The geo­met­ric fig­ures occu­py­ing the space rep­re­sent my father’s pres­ence in a par­tic­u­lar moment. As for the newer work I wanted to incor­po­rate flesh with­out ren­der­ing the fig­ure. I felt it was nec­es­sary to illus­trate these episodes in a series called Nau­sea. Nau­sea, writ­ten by Jean-​​Paul Sarte is an exis­ten­tial novel in which the main char­ac­ter expe­ri­ences bouts of nau­sea and later reflects on his expe­ri­ence. These visions of build­ings, grass, trees, peo­ple, park gates sud­denly loose their def­i­n­i­tion, their indi­vid­u­al­ity becomes only an appear­ance a veneer, this veneer had melted leav­ing soft mon­strous masses naked and in chaos.”

Many of Elliot’s paint­ings have the juicy tex­ture and blend­ing of oil paint as Cecily Brown and Jenny Sav­ille, both of whom he men­tioned as painters he admires. The col­ors are intense and the thick appli­ca­tion of paint is a nice con­trast with the rep­re­sen­ta­tional spaces he con­tin­ues to depict.

One draw­ing table dis­play­ing his most recent paint­ings which are about 6″ x 6″ on wood. The large paint­ing is approx­i­mately 60″ x 50″ on can­vas. Another table with his paints and brushes. A wood air­plane hangs on the wall which reminds him of his dad who was a pilot.

Elliot tak­ing out an older (2007) piece with the geo­met­ric pres­ence (he talks about the sym­bol­ism of these shapes in the video clip) impos­ing into the rep­re­sen­ta­tional space. The paint­ing he is talk­ing about in the video is wrapped up ready to go to a show. His smaller pieces on wood are jux­ta­posed next to painted pix­e­lated text. One of them says “Run Boy Run Run”. Installing them all at eye level in one neat row lends the work to become more nar­ra­tive and the tex­tual inser­tions func­tion like visual pauses.

Although he is busy work­ing for Artex most of the time, he is also show­ing his work reg­u­larly. He has a show this year at the Sav­ille Gallery in Cum­ber­land, MD. He cur­rently has a show at Prince George’s County Com­mu­nity Col­lege. The open­ing recep­tion is on Thurs­day, Sept. 10 from 6 — 8p.m. Elliot’s work can be seen on his blog at www.elliottwright.blogspot.com


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