Art Garage – Keith Weesner
What I Did On My Summer Vacation by Tony Colombini.
I saw the artwork of Keith Weesner, and I liked it.
What do you think? Compelling enough to pass the eight grade and move on. What’s that? You need a visual aid? How’s this?
Now that you have seen his work, you surely must believe my essay to be compelling.
The first thing I notice of a Weesner piece is the soft color palette. Not that the work is all 50’s pastel. He uses the full palette of color. A red car for example is not a blotch (technical term alert) of cadmium red, but the entire range from a violet red top to a warm red orange below. Best seen in the Gearhead magazine cover.
The images are portrait-like in nature but his use of color and line give so much more of a story. As if seen through the bottom of a bourbon tumbler, the figures sway back and forth, calling me in. For one more sip.
Art is in essence a bunch of hocus-pocus magic. We (as artists) attempt to turn a blank canvas into something that will fool the viewer into thinking it’s something different. Modern artists like Rothko, Pollock and Stella throw that in your face by making the paint the object. Weesner’s influences from N.C. Wyeth Loomis, Sargent and Hopper do the same in a stylized realist fashion. I like art that looks at life in an interesting way and tells a variety of stories. In my opinion pieces should tell just enough of a story so you can finish it with your own experiences. That concept connects you the viewer to the work like nothing else.
Keiths work does that. My favorite for that is “Bad Stretch of Road”. Here the title may be criticized as telling too much, the equally spaced pieces of the story may tell a bit too much, but it’s what’s behind the doors and in the shadows that can tell you more. I’ve been looking at that piece for days and it wasn’t until I was talking to Keith when I noticed the dead hand in the bottom left corner on the rooftop. DAMN! More of the story comes out.
And many more pieces do that as well, Repair, All Nite Café, Creeping DeVille, Strip T, and Strong Mixture appears to be other chapters in the story. Then there’s the portraits of the ladies like Femme and Siren who, like people watching at Disneyland, have their own dark mysteries. Then there’s the fun sci-fi pieces like Downtown Hell, The Drop and Union City that evoke a melancholic Jetson’s juxtaposition.
So what did I do on my summer vacation? I cruised through a dark part of town, met some very incredible characters, tasted the sweet nectar of bourbon on a ladies hip, and saw a glimpse of the future, and I liked it.
Be sure to visit his website at www.KeithWeesner.com and be compelled to write your own essay.