Wesley Willis Art Examples


1991 Dan Ryan

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Ce dessin de Wesley Willis a été conservé dans une remise depuis sa création , il a été connu du public lors de l'exposition de certaines de ses oeuvres en Europe et en Egypte. Il n' a pas été exposé à la lumière et ses couleurs sont celles de l'époque de sa création. Wesley y a inscrit ses deux sens de la perspective , un style qui lui est unique. Sur la gauche le dessin présente un mouvement qui va vers le lointain tandis qu' à droite le mouvement le rapproche du spectateur. Les trains de Rosk Island, de Chicago , ceux de Northwestern que Wesley a dessinés en défiant l'échelle , traversent Comiskey Park à gauche et les constructions de Robert Taylor à droite. L'horizon à gauche montre le centre ville de Chicago comme Wesley le voyait en 1991 . Cette oeuvre est exceptionnelle , c'est l'oeuvre non seulement d 'un grand artiste de Chicago mais aussi celle d'une des personnalités les plus appréciées de la ville . Wesley disait à propos de cette oeuvre "C'est la face souriante de mon visage" . Si vous regardez l'oeuvre pendant quelques temps vous la verrez. Ma collection dont cette pièce est issue a fait partie de l'exposition itinérante qui a débuté en Suisse en 1997. Elle a accompagné l'exposition en Hollande et a terminé sa tournée au Caire. Bientôt un livre des oeuvres de Wesley sera publié.Je dispose d'une documentation concernant cette exposition itinérante . Cette pièce qui n'est pas encadrée est exactement dans l'état dans lequel je l'ai acquise en 1991. *************************************************************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************************************************************** *************************************************************************************************************************************************** This drawing by the late Wesley Willis was in storage from the time he drew it until It went on exhibit in Europe and Egypt. It has not been exposed to light and is as vibrant as the day Wesley drew it. Wesley incorporated his two point perspective in this drawing, a style unique to him. On the left the movement is away from us and on the right it comes toward us. The Rock Island and Chicago and Northwestern trains, which Wesley has drawn out of scale, move past Comiskey Park pictured on the left and the Robert Taylor homes on the right. On the left horizon is downtown Chicago as his eye saw it in 1991. This is an exciting piece done by one of America's great artists and one of Chicago's most beloved personalities. Wesley said of this drawing, "That's my smiling face." If you look at for a while you'll see it. My collection of which this piece was a part began a museum tour in Switzerland in 2007. It then continued on to Holland and finished this critically aclaimed tour in Cairo. There will soon be published a much awaited book on Wesley's art. I have documentation for the traveling exhibit. This piece is unframed and is in the exact condition as when I acquired it in 1991. ********************************************************************************************************************************************* http://www.muslimwakeup.com/mainarchive/000196.html Between Laughter and Tears: Remembering Wesley Willis by Michael Muhammad Knight The wind left my sails a week before I was supposed to be in Chicago for the ISNA convention, when I learned that my friend Wesley Willis had passed away following a hard fight with leukemia in a Prospect Heights, Illinois hospice. Wesley was a 6'5", 350-pound Mercy to the Worlds. Though the son of a Muslim, Wesley was Christian. Though not a Christian myself, I saw a lot of Christ-ness in him. Wesley came from the "least" of society: squalid Chicago projects, surrounded by poverty, crime, drugs, abuse and a hellish family life. In 1989, at twenty-six years old, Wesley was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia. He suffered from audio hallucinations in the form of "demons" who ridiculed him with profanity. Reacting to the voices, Wes would sometimes curse back-unintentionally disturbing or even scaring bystanders. A fellow passenger on the CTA bus, thinking that Wes had sworn at him, slashed his face with a boxcutter. For the rest of his life Wesley wore a long scar across his right cheek. Despite Wesley's pain in both his internal and external worlds, he filled everyone around him with absolute love and joy. Wes made hearts glow. He could say something as simple as "you're a good person" and you wouldn't know what to do with yourself. In addition to the scar on his cheek, Wesley had a permanent bruise on his forehead. This came from a lifetime of "bumping heads." For Wesley the headbutt was a gesture of affection, but sometimes you'd have to ask him to go easy. There are motifs in Islamic literature of Muslims whose foreheads became calloused from repeated performances of sujdah, and traditions claim that on the Day of Judgment a believer's forehead would come up shining. With this in mind I took Wesley's bruise to be the mark of a genuine saint. Wes loved music, and he loved rock n' roll unconditionally. One day while playing Rancid in the car (to hear Wesley's rendition of "Salvation" was priceless) I asked Wes what his favorite band was, and he replied, "Rancid." I asked him again the next day with Nirvana playing, and he replied, "Nirvana." To me it showed how much Wesley got out of every moment. And Wesley would become a rock star himself. Tirelessly prolific, his true discography may never be known. Wesley was said to have recorded in the range of fifty albums and written two thousand songs. He counted among his fans Eddie Vedder and Billy Corgan and once toured across the country opening for Sublime. Wesley's music consisted of him talking and singing to a preprogrammed keyboard beat (usually "Country Rock 8") about friends, bands, bus rides and everyday experiences. He also sang a lot of what he called "bestiality songs" which were directed at his demons. Music was Wesley's therapy. Whether listening on his headphones, performing at a show or basking in love from his fans, the good sounds drowned out bad voices in Wesley's head. For many, however, Wesley's true gift was his drawing. His brilliant cityscapes sold for hundreds of dollars a piece. I own a poster-sized drawing by Wes of the closed psychiatric hospital next to Buffalo State College. When Wes called me in early 2003 to say that he was sick, he spoke of leukemia as he had of his demons. "Leukemia can kiss my ass," he said. "I won't let that leukemia bring me down. That leukemia wants to put me in my grave but I will not let it." He asked me if people died from leukemia. I didn't know what to say. Originally scheduled to hit Chicago for ISNA on Friday, I left early for Wesley's memorial on Wednesday. As I sat at the Buffalo Greyhound station on the evening of August 25, watching a line of buses that could just as well have been lifted from Wesley's drawings, the Earth was closer to Mars than it had been in 59,619 years. I did not know what to do with that other than recognize that it was an odd time. I arrived in Chicago at around noon and then wandered with no idea where to go until finding myself on the UIC campus shuffling along concrete walkways with expressionless students. Eventually I asked for directions and was steered toward the CTA train. I rode the blue line to N. Western Avenue and lugged my big bag to John Rago and Sons Memorial Chapel. Bought a Brisk at the nearby gas station and chilled on the curb. I went to the service at four and was greeted by his former roommate, Carla Winterbottom. I looked straight ahead and there he was: in a sharp suit and tie, hands folded, eyes closed, with the big headphones he carried at all times. I kneeled at the casket. And he was thin. God, he was thin. I met his friends Tammy Smith (whose name I had known for years from Wesley's song about her) and Dennis Cooper, who sported bright pink hair and a black shalwar chemise. Wesley's brother Ricky was there and took an interest in my Wesley Willis hoodie. "Good news is rock n' roll," it said on the back, accompanied by Wesley's face. Photocopied pages of Wesley's lyrics lined every wall. "At least I'm not a violent criminal," read one. More of Wesley's family came in-brothers Jerry and Michael (who looked too much like Wes) and father Walter Willis Shabazz. The room filled with friends, ranging from Jim Simm, the former manager of Genesis Art Store, to Dale Meiners to Jello Biafra. I walked around reading press clippings and studying photo collages-Wesley at the beach, Wesley with a newborn baby, Wesley at various cities, Wesley all dressed up at gallery showings, Wesley with guys like Gavin Rossdale from Bush and one of the Gallagher brothers from Oasis. Several get-well cards were displayed, including one from Hank Williams III asking Wes to realize how appreciated he was. The service celebrated Wesley's boundless humor, joy and pride in himself as an artist. Songs were played, a brief film montage was shown and Jello Biafra led us all in a musical tribute. Most of us alternated evenly between laughter and tears. Posted by editor at September 3, 2003 11:54 AM | TrackBack Comments assalamu alaykum. you say that wesley was born to muslim parents but was a christian. you also said wesley suffered from schizophrenia. under shariah law, wesley is to be regarded as a blameless person from whom God has lifted all responsibility. wesley can call himself muslim or christian or hindu or calathumpian for all i care. wesley is in reality a saint, a friend of God. perhaps it is the innocence and pure goodness of wesley and other mentally ill people which keeps God from destroying the rest of us. i won't bother asking God to show mercy to wesley because wesley is probably already hanging out with some funky hoories. enough! ma salama Posted by: Irf Yukstuff at September 4, 2003 09:04 AM actually it was only his father who was a muslim. but i absolutely agree with you. Posted by: MK at September 4, 2003 12:16 PM

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