Today I want to talk about an artist that I met thanks to the “Resurrection of a Sunflower” anthology curated by Catfish McDaris. I’m talking about Guinotte Wise, a writer and a sculptor from Kansas City. “My last show at the Hilliard Gallery in KC was May-July – Guinotte told me – I have one every May. Had one in Santa Monica at Lois Lambert Gallery Jan 12-Mar 17, and it was pretty successful. Seems LA likes my crazy stuff. Had great attendance and interest in the KC show.”
He defines itself an hermit and he works with the objects coming directly from the refuse of the society. Rusty or chrome parts, scraps from work tools, glass, iron and many other materials are the main characters of his works. There is a thing that I particularly like about Guinotte Wise: his statues remember me the art of Enrico Baj or the painters of the Nuclear moviment. He is a creator of strange characters, robots coming from an old sci-fi story and horses that remember me the contemporary vision of the Mantegna’s frescoes of the Palazzo Te. But I found also some assonances with the work of Marino Marini and Jean Tinguely.
This is what he wrote about his creation process: “When sculpting, I have a vague idea what I’m after unless it’s totally abstract. Like a robot or a raven or a horse. Abstract stuff is tougher– if you screw up the design, you don’t always know right away. I have a plasma cutter for that. Sometimes I have to cut a piece off, never much fun. Bet you can see the metaphor there for the writing. Editing. Editors are always after me to cut chunks and usually I see the wisdom. I don’t like it, but I grudgingly see it and do it.”
Talking about one of his last shows, the one at the Lois Lambert Gallery (Santa Monica / Jan 12-Mar 17) titled “Wise Objx”, it was a collection of pieces where the concept for each on develop in the process. It determines the story and composition of each sculpture aided by a certain design sense. Guinotte has honed from years as an art director in the advertising world. Working from his sizable junkyard, often an oddly bent rail or a rusty transmission part beckons and helps each piece find its way to realization. In the case of representational work, the materials work in tandem with the source of inspiration during the creative process.
Then there is the writing part of this artist. In particular there is his collection of poems titled “Scattered Cranes” and published by Pski’s Porch. The magazine JazzCigarette wrote about his book that “In today’s sordid milieu of fuckbois and masculine toxins, Wise’s work personifies a modern rarity in male poesy: the lovable rogue. His Tulsa boyhood bleeds into his vagabond adolescence; we experience the many jobs he’s held in this life through flashes forward and back, a mess of youthful love lost, the comedy of boyish folly, and the wisdom that such experiences sometimes bestow…that is, if the poet wants to accept it. […]”
So, in my opinion, Guinotte Wise is a continuous discovery and I hope that also our readers will be interested in visiting his website at http://www.wisesculpture.com/ and his Amazon page at http://goo.gl/O9mBki.