I first discovered Wys’ work on a trendy blog in early 2010. I remember the excitement. I was appreciating art. The sterility and playfulness were something I obsessed over. Never before had art felt so democratised.
By no means had this art appeared as overly simple or foolish as those “my 4-year-old could have done this” pieces you tend to spot in large city galleries. Wys’ pieces have messages to them.
Born 1983 in Illinois USA, Chad Wys grew up obsessing over picture books of 19th and 20th-century paintings. It was this self-confessed naïve fascination of art and the romance between art history and visual theory which motivated Wys to study his Master’s degree in Visual Culture at Illinois State University.
I enjoy picking apart history and getting down and dirty with what we consider beautiful.
He rejects traditional expressions of art and today his works are primarily appropriation and stark minimalism. Wys refuses to submit to art world norms of art being a truth-teller, instead of contesting how we process our experiences art (history) and decoration/ornamentation.
If you’ve had a hard time getting your head around art or finding an artist that you just completely dig but can’t explain why—that ends now. Chad Wys is where it’s at.
Header: Becoming Wonderful Forever. rocks, minerals, found object, 6 x 4.5 x 3″, 2014)