Obvious Creative Expenditure

Wade Guyton Untitled 2007

“In his [Scott Rothkopf ] essay “Modern Pictures,” which was included in the catalogue accompanying the artist’s 2005 exhibition, Color, Power, & Style, at the Kunstverein in Hamburg, Rothkopf wrote of Guyton: “So suspicious was he of any kind of obvious creative expenditure that even that most minimal of gestures inspired a near existential crisis. ‘Why am I making this drawing,’ he recalls asking himself. ‘It seemed dumb to be sitting here drawing, but it didn’t seem dumb enough. If I was going to do something that required no skill, it shouldn’t require my labor.’ And soon thereafter it didn’t.” Making art without labor is the perfect response to those philistines who proclaim, “Even my kid could do this,” and to those aesthetic theorists who believe that the progress of art is marked by the steps artists take towards achieving the utopian condition of a workerless society.” [John Yau on Wade Guyton]

“Although some of his works question the structure and language of painting, in the traditional sense of the word, they still radically modify codes and modes of production. Guyton’s paintings are realized by putting canvases several times through huge inkjet printers to print motifs and letterings. Errors, drips, and misprints are part of the general composition programme and ensure the result’s unicity: “The first works I made with the computer were like writing, replacing the pen with a keyboard. Instead of drawing an X I decided to type it…””
To understand my work differently I started photographing it in the studio and using these images to produce paintings. And it is perfectly logical to use a photographic image with the tools I’m using. The printers I use were designed to replace darkroom photography; a kind of hostile business advancement masked as technological progress and image improvement.”
The sudden upsurge of biographical elements drawn from the reality of his daily practice, disrupts the iconography usually deployed by this artist and opens new perspectives. Through a mise en abîme of his own work, Wade Guyton keeps questioning the entire chain of production and representation as well as the future of art as an image.” [Wade Guyton Consortium Installation 2016]

Wade Guyton Untitled 2006

There is no smell of turpentine, no haphazard array of easels, no cans of paint or stacks of used canvases. In fact, there are none of the things one would expect in a painter’s studio. Instead all the creating is executed on computer screens and printers.
“I never really enjoyed drawing or art classes,” said Mr. Guyton unapologetically as he described growing up in a small town in Tennessee. “I would prefer to sit in front of the TV or play video games.” [Carol Vogel on Wade Guyton]

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