Location: Los Angeles, CA
Wyatt Mills is a Los Angeles artist whose mixed medium paintings juxtapose a conventional ideology and mass media representation with a critiquing lens of historical and surreal contexts. He creates collages that approach realism like someone in a fast moving train, looking out a window and simultaneously freezing time while his severe brush strokes catch people off guard and keep them there.
Mills extracts conversation through his creation of dissonance, conflict, rage, and paranoia. He represents the same subject multiple times in a single painting, implying movement and sequence. Viewing his art is a visceral experience that hails memories that teeter on enlightening and terrifying.
Wyatt Mills earned a BFA in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York and currently lives in The Brewery Arts complex located in Los Angeles. His most recent project is a mural designed for The Container Yard located in the Los Angeles Arts District, where he explored today’s technology addiction and how humans are constantly plugged into their devices.
While on scene at The Container Yard We Choose Art’s creative partner Baha Danesh asked Mills, Why do you choose art?
A homeless man will bellow in anger at a frightened pedestrian, or a child will fall on his face while his mother watches in utter fear and helplessness. Another man is on the bench reading about a war in a faraway country, accompanied by someone reading about some ludicrous thing Paris Hilton did on Friday night. Instances such as these attract and direct me. They happen, and then the world moves on. I try to remember what angles and subtleties I saw in the corner of my eye that completed the interaction or experience. What interests me is the intensity of the interaction, and how I can use that tension to bring a multidimensional authenticity into characters that I portray.
With personal experiences and memories in mind, I enjoy including a broader spectrum of how we get information as a whole and how that forms our collective memory (illusion). How does this affect our ability to live in the present? Observing people is similar to looking at clouds and waiting for your brain to find something you recognize. The empty area around the people involved — whether it be a subway platform or in a park — forms and sculpts the moment, just as much as the participators are part of the background. Through my process, I contemplate this conundrum of multiple colliding subjective realities and try to replicate them through the characteristics of my paintings. The result can sometimes be a surprising reflection of how I act in this world.
Humans are experts at misunderstanding each other. We get information from mass media which has been filtered through translators and officials countless times, we look at our friend’s online avatar to decide what their real life is like. We tend to be violently separated from the truth of any situation. I want to capture this paradox. I want to confront the audience in such a way that forces the viewer back into the conversation they often have with themselves, but rarely share with others. Those thoughts or questions take up 90% of our lives, but we express them to no one. I keep this inner conflict heavily in mind during my process. By combining the core phenomena of personal experience and the multitude of information stating what’s happening elsewhere, I’m exploring how these two sides of reality are always juggling to fundamentally create my own.
Photo coverage by Baha Danesh located at The Container Yard.