Currently, there is a shift taking place in the work of Micah Wesley. If you look at Wesley's work over the past ten years, you know he has skill with the pen. His graphic work is precise and controlled. His content gives a perspective of the outsider, the underdog, it shows the stripped down truths that we tend to overlook. The humor in the pain, the hero in the ordinary, the Native in America. Wesley also has a handle to painting that not many artists can boast, able to really work in the simplest of medium and color to create an extensive palate and depth that is mind blowing. Yet currently, Wesley is focusing on discovering his work on a more conceptual level. 'White washing' over intricate lettering and dynamic forms and figures, leaving very little to the eye and forcing the viewer to imagine the story that has been covered. And the story has been washed over, many, many times, until the painting itself becomes a simple color swatch or 'buff', a byproduct of the process Wesley has gone through with the work. Wesley may have painted the finest of detail in his experience with a piece, then he will outline that, shift the color, add the details, and then wash it out and begin another masterpiece on top of it. Much like life, this process proves the impermanence of everything we think is perfect and beautiful. Nothing stays the same, nothing is forever.
When interviewing Wesley, it's clear that he is currently in the most sacred space an artist can achieve, the continuous process of creation. Wesley speaks with Art Beat Conversations about the uncomfortable yet necessary interaction he is currently in with his art. Tackling some very relevant and heavy issues in Native America, such as stereotyping and racism, his concept is what fuels his intense and consuming method. Wesley feels it is necessary to allow himself to push through his comfort zone, opening a space for thought to form, for the work to speak for him, through him, and in turn create a dialogue to other people. Wesley is not concerned however with how others may receive his latest works. He is in the middle of discovering how he feels about and reacts to them himself. This is inspiring and something that often gets lost in our 'instant' post and share world. This 'all in' approach is the part that intrigues, and has brought me personally to another level of respect for this artist.
Here is the conversation with Micah Wesley "The Werewulf".
Music featured on this episode taken from a 'Werewulf' mix-tape. Artists listed in order of appearance: Motley Crue, The Beat, The Werewulf, Funkdoobiest, Bob Marley vs. Bill Laswell, Funkadelic, DJ Krush, and ending track 'Satan is Real' by Hank III.
More about the artist:
"The Werewulf" Micah Wesley (Creek/Kiowa) is a painter who works in Oil, Acrylic, and Graphite. Wesley is currently living in Norman, Oklahoma attending OU for his MFA. Wesley is also a DJ, and plays out at weekly residencies throughout Norman.
Selected works from Micah Wesley's latest series 'My Red Neck/ My Red Skin':