The Artist at Work
The Digital Age has brought upon us a binary kaleidoscope fog blanketing both perception and reality. I think of my art as beyond the fog evolving instead at the bottom of an inkwell.
Since 1997 I have retreated to a life inside an inkwell- a black and white graphic world of duality sprinkled with social commentary and Dreamscape imagery. Each work is created as a framed cultural relic with a pen and ink drawing wrapped around a canvas and secured in a shadow box frame. Portrayed within is an otherworldly landscape of mountains, waterways and woodlands populated by a tribe of innocent featureless beings. The inhabitants are often engaged, observing and participating in a variety of everyday activities. As events unfold and the series evolves, the tribe’s future is at risk when a celestial armada and its invading forces conspire to colonize their land. Once the invaders land and gain a foothold, they offer gifts of electronic devices to the unsuspecting natives hoping to sway there their trust. Perplexed and confused, the natives are only able to observe and consternation occurs, portending everlasting change. All takes place under a moonlit sky with meteorite fragments showering the environment.
Until recently, I only worked with the traditional media of pen and ink, paper and canvas. By adding another component (actual meteorite fragments), a celestial element has been integrated within. My sources of inspiration have taken many paths over the years. I grew up in Chicago above my grandmother’s tavern and developed a childhood fascination with 1950’s sci-fi comics and a local amusement park. A dance hall was located directly across the street and I found much joy watching couples entering and exiting during the night. Nearby, nature presented itself in the form of a three-story waterfall commercial park. A creation of the Olson Rug Company, the faux nature setting also included holiday lights and lawn ornament animals. Much later, I became intrigued with and influenced by the art of Edvard Munch, James Ensor, M.C Escher and the work of the German Expressionist. The foundation was laid and since then, I have been weaving conflict, dreams and humor along with my personal perceptions of contemporary life into my artwork.
With twenty-three solo exhibitions to his credit, the artist has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country (The Corcoran Museum, The Anderson Gallery, The Katzen Arts Center…). Wayne’s art has received recognition from local and national publications (Art in America, The Washington Post…) with many of his works included in public and private collections. Recently Wayne received recognition in having one of his works included in the “Washington Art Matters ll: 1940s – 1980s” exhibition at the American University Museum at the Katzen Center. Paige also received several awards including First Prize in The Fairfax Art Council awards, First Prize in The George Washington University Alumni Competition and a Special Recognition award from The Virginia Commission of the Arts.
A graduate of The University of Illinois (BFA Painting) and The George Washington University (MFA Painting), Wayne has lived in the Washington, DC area since 1969 and spends his time between Washington, DC and Middleburg, Virginia.