Interview with Wiley Wallace for ‘Woven Trails’ | Exhibition August 5 – August 26, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present Wiley WallaceWoven Trails,’ bringing a captivating exploration of interconnectedness, time, and space to Thinkspace Projects’ Gallery IV. ‘Woven Trails‘ delves into metaphysical concepts, inviting viewers to reflect on the mysteries of existence. The paintings depict transformative journeys where time, space, and interconnectedness intertwine to form a mesmerizing tapestry of exploration and reflection. Wallace’s pieces convey a kind of sci-fi nostalgia harkening back to a Spielberg-era of extraterrestrial-themed filmmaking. At times their implied innocence and naiveté give way to darker and more dystopian readings, surfacing amidst the neon-hued glow.

Our interview with Wiley reveals what a day in the studio looks like for him, his creative influences, and about his dream collaboration.

Photo by BirdMan

What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?

In this body of work, I was trying to build off of themes that I have used in the past like the desert, my children, skeletons, and glowing ethereal and polyhedron shapes. I was also trying to add more translucent and abstract shapes of different materials like glass or minerals. Additionally, I was trying to challenge myself to paint bigger on some paintings and smaller on other ones, playing with scale a bit.

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?
Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

From month to month, a day looks very different depending on what our kids have going on. During the school year, I love to swim or hike in the morning after getting the kids off to school, then paint until I have to teach a class, and then paint until we eat dinner together. In the summer, with everyone home, I moved all my painting stuff into the living room so that I could hang out with my family. I would be painting while the kids watched a show, movie, or played videogames. I did a lot of half watching/listening to whatever they put on. Sometimes they would join me by making their own stuff; crochet, drawing, crafts, etc.

What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?
Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?

I love the act of painting and zoning out into the process for a long time. Least favorite part is the set-up, clean-up, and how fast paint can dry in the summer in Arizona.
Old movies and shows definitely are a huge creative influence on my work. I also love going to art shows when I can and seeing paintings in person and asking myself, “How did they paint that?” After seeing a cool piece of artwork, I always want to get home and paint or draw.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do / be an expert at?

I think it would be awesome to be able to speak every language.

What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?

I really like to create narrative paintings that have several different interpretations. If someone can look at one of my paintings and build a story in their mind and see each subject matter that I chose to paint as a symbol that stands for something, it would make me happy.

How do you like to enjoy your time outside of the studio? Do you celebrate the completion of a body of work?

Our kids always have some activity that keeps us pretty busy between boy scouts, football, basketball, swim team, other sports, clubs and classes. My daughter has been really into volleyball, which has been so fun to watch. When I finished the last big body of work for the museum show at Mesa, I needed to take a big break and we celebrated some… but for this show I felt like getting right back to painting.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

I would really love to learn/collaborate with an awesome VFX or CGI artist. I have a background in 3-D animation and would love to learn more so that I could have awesome references for paintings.

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

I honestly would just love a fun dinner party with my family; the five people would be my wife and our three kids. It would be awesome if everybody could pick their favorite meal and we could all share. We wouldn’t need an icebreaker but “twenty questions” or “would you rather” are always pretty fun.

What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?

I listened to a lot of MixCloud and longer mixes people make on YouTube. One of my favorite set of mixes on YouTube is called KHRUANGBIN VIBES by an account called Mol.

Exhibition on view August 5 – August 26, 2023 at:
Thinkspace Projects
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90016