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