When we were young we looked upon everything with curiosity, and approached everything completely unaware of limitations. For some the cost of learning to be practical is paid for with ambition. For others, youthful energy never ceases, limits are never set, and we left to witness the resulting achievements of those who never quit looking at the world through young eyes.
Wiley Robertson is impractical, relentless, and will never grow up.
His youthful energy and limitless ambition seem to multiply as he gets older. Whether on the streets or in the studio, Robertson never stops, ignores all obstacles, and seems to make as much as he breathes, at times leaving one to question which of the two is keeping him alive.
Robertson uses stickers, free hand spray paint graffiti, stencils, marker tags, wheat pastes, hand painted 2 x 4’s, and at times combines multiple of the mediums to announce his existence wherever he goes. His imagery matches the diversity found in the mediums used. Wiley seamlessly navigates inspired sign painting, portraiture, pop cultural imagery, letter based graffiti, community inspired iconography, and more.
first, some Halloween
Jessica and her collaborators on the Nelson Atkins were honored during a super amazing reception. They made a community alter that honored José Guadalupe Posada, whose prints were exhibited on loan from the Mexican Consul. Pretty amazing event that I got to go to because Jessica is super badass.
I really thought that I had more pictures from Chris’ batchelor party evening, but the few I have really say it all. We just went and had some beers and laughs in Westport.
First stop by request was to my grandmothers old house specifically to see this tree. I used to climb this for hours when I was little. Half of it was missing. The house had changed as much as the tree; new deck, added garage, new neighbors suspicious of people taking photos….It was really crazy to drive my mom through a town she once called home and say things like,” That street used to be so big,” and, “That hill was just so steep back then.” I trust my mom’s opinion so much I naturally wonder when the ground shifted, but I know deep down that it didn’t. Seeing the tree put me near tears knowing that some things that used to be able to effortlessly hold you may crumble beneath you now.
About two blocks over was the gallery Art Dive, run and owned by one of Jessica’s best friends Chrissy Mullane. Chrissy was out, but i was able to talk to her on the phone via her mother Geri (just a guess on the spelling).
Chrissy has a main gallery space, this pictured side space for her work, a studio complete with giclee machine, another smaller space, storage and a bathroom. Pretty badass space in a still developing edge of downtown.
It was so cool to spend time with family that was eager to see things I was interested in. i got a business card someplace and plan on applying to the gallery for a show just as an excuse to do this again…
Old Painting from 2005? this had to be from about half way through sophomore year. Bad picture, but shows me doing flowers and using the same application process. I completely forgot about this little period.
Which led to the inevitable fulfillment of my birthday prophecy…..eating multiple breakfasts shortly after midnight. They basically cut me off after like 6 eggs, two sides of hash browns, chicken wings, waffles, and more.
And then i went back to work….
I am thankful that I was able to spend the day before my birthday with my mom in Des Moines. Underneath quite possibly the largest sky I have ever seen, I learned infinitely more about what it means to be her son. I feel a connection with Des Moines after seeing my mother’s connection with it, after just seeing the people there and watching the way that they carry themselves, eavesdropping on what they talk about, by seeing the way the city is shaped now and getting glimpse into the potential they are trying to realize.
Since then I have been painting, a lot. Hopefully in my 27th year I can realize my potential.