Deemed one of the founding fathers of West Coast Funk Art by the New York Times following his retrospective at the Smithsonian last year, Wiley presented a collection of his work that spanned across 40 years alongside the work of Wally Hendrick, a dear friend of his.
Trying to describe one of Wiley’s pieces is a bit more difficult than referencing a certain style. The best way to think about it is multiple layers of thoughts, ideas, images, references and words. What I love about his pieces is is that they include surreal, make believe characters collaged in with pieces of graph paper, sketches, cut outs and type. Each collage becomes interactive as you can’t help but try and read the phrases that say things like “Dude! No one has time to read all this stuff!” and “I’ve got it all on the line — and the time it takes — to make mistakes — if there is such a thing.”
Having taught the likes of Bruce Nauman and Deborah Butterfield, Wiley’s influential style and intriguing works of art can be seen across the Unites States and now in the UK until the 29th of July at the Mayor Gallery.
Close up of a piece at the exhibition.