The following article was published in N-SPHERE November 2011 issue.


Name: Timothy Andrew Wilson

Location: Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.

Occupation: Artist, Game Developer

Definition of personal sphere:

It’s a restless place, uncommitted to any particular medium and defined by a broad set of ideas that winnow, mugging and petting, jostling about, until one generative nub remains as a fulcrum upon which I teeter like a goon.

Increasingly, making art seems like a kind of head-sickness in the psychological sense, in that I am compelled to do it, obsessively, often to the detriment of other things more dearly held – and this not to be melodramatic, merely an observation of myself and others of a similar bent. Matters of etiology, you could say.  I should be thankful this odd compulsion  enjoys a cultural heritage of Function, however suspect.

Because I have rarely shows my work or attempt to reach a public, the art can afford to be the result of mad work and the process  can ride first and foremost, unconcerned with observer or audience, like Chango riding a dancer’s head. This can lead to shite of course, and often does. But if the generative impulse lends sufficient energy and direction, the process invariably arrives at a surprising, revelatory place.

It’s like being shot from a circus cannon. In whimsically festooned costume and silver safety-helmet, I’m never quite sure if this generative impulse will land in a seven-stage photo-print, a painting or doodle, a comic, a film, a computer game scenario or a massive skin-collage, whatever, as it goes…  But the idea will eventually demand a form – and from there it’s all about just lighting the fuse. Sometimes you land in the crowd and sometimes you shoot through the tent flaps, into the manure.

Artwork in 4 words:

Process bound, interrogating effusively.

What is inspirational for you: A few things: any form of mark-making on paper, scribbles, jots, scumbles, ink spills, desiccation, mold contamination, stains, and any form of paper ephemera featuring the unmitigated presence of an artist’s hand. Robots making out and canoodling, so passionately that sparks fly from their commingling jowls. And, in no particular order: Gnostic and Hermetic cosmogony, golden age comics and popular illustration, human coexistence with specially distinct hominids, Neanderthal culture, ancient religiosity associated with the precession of equinoxes, Nazi Survival Mythology with it’s attendant Ariosophical claptrap, Indian Miniature and European Narrative painting, German Romanticism, graphical evidence of Chance, Tielhard de Chardin, medieval woodcuts, Catholic book illumination and, lastly, context-reduced science photography – particularly of the electro-generated, utilitarian variety.

Currently favourite artists: Max Ernst, Sid Couchey, Warren Kremer,  Robert Fludd, Dan Estabrook, David Lynch, Duchamp and, more importantly, many “lesser known” artists, fellow travellers discovered on street corners, bar-stools and the internet and who are always a source of inspiration – Sylvestre Anasse, for example, or Farel Dalrymple. All told, I’m attracted to artists who display grace and who prove nimble in the face of change, who build on top of themselves in clumsy aggregates, or sometimes graceful like feeding coral.

Tools of trade: Canon T1i – lately with Pentax K-mount lenses, iron salts, inkjet and ‘pigment’ prints, digitally produced negatives/transparencies, wax medium, acrylic paint and gel dispersants, gouache, Prismacolor pencils, tapes and adhesives of all variety, oil-sticks, chalk pastels, soft graphite pencils, Modo, After Effects, Photoshop, tiny medical grade scissors  - the best for cutting! – and X-Acto knives.

Current obsessions:

Cyanotypes, obviously, I can’t get enough of this process. It’s rare to find a medium so malleable, so full of surprise, excitement and sullen hi-jinks.But it always maintains a cold distance that lets you eat your own ass, dot your own eye. And this is good. Unforgiving, but forgetful – beautiful, but a little sallow in the cheek.

Another recent obsession has been encaustic medium, the wax of bees mixed with ship-sealing sap; burying my work under this mix is compelling, it seems to struggle at trapping light. A noble endeavor!  The encaustic, occurring as it has been during a work’s final stages, takes on a funereal air similar to a sympathetic ritual, dimly understood. And though I’ve always been fascinated by occult experience, lately this has turned on so-called “threshold” areas found on the borders of the quotidian, at the edge of deep trance, meditation, hypnagogic states or near-death experience. The phenomena of this space – the dwellers therein, the manifestations –  are remarkably consistent across culture and time – a fruitful, if reticent, subject for investigation.

Personal temptation: Frankly, I’m tempted toward turning my back on contemporary Western Civilization and moving to a Shack In The Woods. Much as Rimbaud abruptly shed a life of poetry for the trading of slaves, I could spend the latter half of my life trading in beaver pelts, doe skin fanny-packs, and crudely painted river stones. Maybe I could find the time to pen a few convoluted pronunciamentos, arriving by rocket mail. I’d also love to slice off a year to make a feature film or a fat graphic novel – Either would be fine.

Artwork: Timothy Andrew Wilson. Bicameral Loserism, from Cosmonautical Autoportraiture. 2011. Toned cyanotype with gelatin on vellum. Courtesy of the artist.

Full article here.