Wesley Willis Art Examples

How to post a Wesley Willis art photo

The internet is flooded with musical Wesley Willis objects, but there is a paucity of proof that he created a huge body of visual art-- mainly citiscapes on posterboard using markers and pens.

The purpose of this site is to propagate the reputation of Wesley Willis as a visual artist. The way we'll do it is just quietly build a library of his work, so that when browsers search for him, they'll be presented this art legacy. Here are the general principles:

  • You are welcome to post photos of Wesley Willis art. Normal rules of being cool on the internet apply here. If you don't know what they are, you probably wouldn't be interested in this site anyway
  • Post photos in the largest resolutions possible, so that we can see the detail of each piece. Actual instructions for uploading appear below
  • Most Wesley Willis art has a discernible title that on it, and it's usually related to the location of the subject matter. Try to make the post title the title of the art
  • Describe, if you like, how you came to be in possession of the photo (or the art itself)
  • Any links in the post are appreciated

Here are instructions for posting:

  • Make sure you have any popup blocking software is disabled for the popup site--it uses popups quite a bit
  • There are two choices: you can login as the Guest Poster (user: Guest Poster / pass: Guest) or you can send me an email for Author status and post as yourself
  • Either way, once you login, go to the Wesley Willis Art posting page at https://www.typepad.com/t/app/weblog/manage?blog_id=14993
  • Click "Create a new post" from the right menu
  • Click "Upload File" from submenu just below the "Manage" and "Post" tabs
  • Click the "Choose File" button and grab the photo (.jpg, hopefully)
  • Click "Upload File"
  • Leave the "Create a new post for this uploaded file" radio button selected
  • If your image is more than 400 pixels wide, click the "Create a thumbnail for this image" checkbox
    • If your image is less than 400 pixels wide, move on to the next step by clicking the "Embedded Image" button
  • If your image is more than 400 pixels wide, change the number in the "Width" box to 400
  • Keep the "Constrain proportions" checkbox checked
  • Click the "Embedded Image" button
  • The popup window closes and the "Compose A New Post" page shows up again, this time with the necessary HTML to post the photo
  • Click in the "Post Body" box and put the cursor at the end of the HTML in the box
  • Hit the RETURN key on your keyboard twice and type your stuff. Put in as much of this information as possible:
    • TITLE? ex: "It's the Dan Ryan Expressway 1996"
    • YEAR? (if unsure then guess as close as possible & note that it's a guess)
    • SIZE? (unframed) MEDIUM? ex: colored marker and pencil on poster board
      • Extra info - good if available:
    • OWNERSHIP HISTORY? ex: purchased directly from artist, Chicago
    • EXHIBITION & LITERATURE? If you know the piece was in an art exhibition or was published in a book, magazine, etc., please note it.
  • When you're done, hit the Save button and you're done



I am writing a paper on the link between mental illness and creativity. The audience will be my “Professional Writing” class at Western Michigan University and any magazine or journal which might accept it for publication (will only be submitted to a select few).

I selected the topic because of my interest in how so many truly gifted people tend to have mental illnesses/challenges. My husband recently heard about Wesley and played me a couple songs he was able to download. We love his music (I can’t get “Cut The Mullet” out of my head) and his drawings.

Anyway, I thought that you might be able to provide me with some insight into what Wesley dealt with mentally and how that was linked with his creativity. Would you be willing to talk with me, over the phone, for maybe 15 minutes or so?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dorothy LaRue



william graham

i have a peice that was sold to me in chicago a few years ago as a wesley willis. however, i am skeptical of its authenticity for these reasons: it is done in what i belive is oil (i have only seen examples of his work done in ink on the internet), it is done in a two dimensional perspective, i do not belive that it depicts an 'actual' chicago location. it is about 24"x18" and depicts a winter cityscape with cars, a "j.c. penny" store, a hotel, a "sears" store, and a building with "woodworking shop" written on it. could this possibly be one of his works or do these factors completely rule it out as a willis? i would appreciate any input. thank you.

Chris Raes

We recently played a tribute show to WW with our band in Belgium. There was also an exhibition of WW's amazing drawings in the club. Does somebody knows if a gallery has a plan to put out posters of WW's drawings... that would be awesome because the originals are so hard to find!


Hi Chris.
Do you have any pics from the club? Or the name of the club? I would love to get them to post some pics here...


Does anyone else have a drawing that Wesley did that ISN'T of a city skyline or busses? I know that I have a personal drawing from him that he did OF ME framed at my parents house and I was always curious if he ever drew anyone else either.


oh and i know that it is an original because i was sitting right there when he drew it.


coinscankill-- hit us up with a pic of that piece.


Does anyone out there know of a good way to frame or mount a Wesley Willis? It is 28x41" (king of an odd size)and would not look good in a fancy frame anyway. I also do not want to permantently mount it to foamboard or anything. I think it would look cool is some sort of a clip frame that could handle a larger sized piece. Any help would be very much appreciated.

Quinn Madson

i met wesley outside of a show in chicago in 2003.

he drew this: http://www.madsonclan.net/gallery/d/13394-1/0001.jpeg


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I have a 42x28 maker/posterboard drawing of Buckingham Fountain drawn by Wesley Willis in 2002. The drawing was left at a friends house and was actually discarded as trash during a move out. I saved the drawing and I'm now interested in selling and can be contacted at djnieman@gmail.com

Glenn L.

I have a wesley willis piece bought in 1990 at Comiskee Park (old white sox stadium) before they tore it down. It's for sale on Ebay if anyone is interested. Never before seen, signed, check it out.



My listing for wesley willis art work is on ebay.


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In early 1994, Willis recorded with the Canadian industrial-metal band Monster Voodoo Machine and appeared on their Juno Award winning debut album Suffersystem (RCA Records). In 1995, Willis was signed as a solo musician to American Recordings and went on to record two albums while producing dozens of other albums independently, becoming a minor novelty rock sensation. He toured frequently, was profiled on MTV and was a guest on The Howard Stern Show on September 26, 1996 where he played nearly-identical songs about Baba Booey and Stern.

Daniel X. O'Neil

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they'll be presented this art legacy. Here are the general principles:

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