18 January 2013

About the Artist

As if I hadn't been long aware that certain types of texts practically writes themselves...

Wallace Crumley

Wallace Crumley (b. 1974, Lexington, Kentucy) makes conceptual artworks, performances and media art. By studying sign processes, signification and communication, Crumley touches various overlapping themes and strategies. Several reoccurring subject matter can be recognised, such as the relation with popular culture and media, working with repetition, provocation and the investigation of the process of expectations.

His conceptual artworks are on the one hand touchingly beautiful, on the other hand painfully attractive. Again and again, the artist leaves us orphaned with a mix of conflicting feelings and thoughts. By manipulating the viewer to create confusion, he makes work that generates diverse meanings. Associations and meanings collide. Space becomes time and language becomes image.

His works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By using popular themes such as sexuality, family structure and violence, he makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing.

His works are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, he often creates several practically identical works, upon which thoughts that have apparently just been developed are manifested: notes are made and then crossed out again, ‘mistakes’ are repeated.

His works question the conditions of appearance of an image in the context of contemporary visual culture in which images, representations and ideas normally function. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, he often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.
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Text created by using the Artist's Biography Generator, a component of Belgian artist Jasper Rigole's "500 Letters" project.

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