University of California Washington Center Presents Wayne Paige Flies in the Ointment

By Editorial Team on October 15, 2018
Wayne Paige, Be Careful What You Wish For, mixed media (ink on paper, meteorite fragments, 2018, 14 x 11 x 1.5. Courtesy of the artist.
Artist Talk: Saturday, October 20 from 11am to 12:30pm

Device-driven technology has gone well beyond its original purpose of improving our lives. It has become the fly in the ointment. The natural world is now being encroached upon by a new age of techno-colonialism with the effects being both immediate and long lasting.

The exhibited artwork is presented as framed cultural relics with each pen and ink drawing wrapped around a canvas and secured in a shadow box frame (14” x 11” x 1.5”). By adding another component (actual meteorite fragments), a celestial element has been integrated within. My sources of inspiration have taken many paths over the years. I grew up in Chicago above my grandmother’s tavern and developed a childhood fascination with 1950’s sci-fi comics, movie posters, carnivals and a local amusement park. A dance hall was located directly across the street and I found much joy watching couples entering and exiting during the night. Nearby, nature presented itself in the form of a three-story waterfall commercial park. A creation of the Olson Rug Company, the faux nature setting also included holiday lights and lawn ornament animals. Much later, I became intrigued with and influenced by the art of Edvard Munch, Joseph Cornell, M.C Escher and the work of the Chicago Imagist aka “The Hairy Who”. The foundation was laid and since then, I have been weaving conflict, dreams and humor along with my personal perceptions of contemporary life into my artwork.

Portrayed within each work is a mythical landscape of mountains, waterways and woodlands populated by a tribe of innocent featureless beings. The inhabitants are often engaged, observing and participating in a variety of everyday activities. As events unfold and the series evolves, the tribe’s future is at risk when a celestial armada and its invading forces conspire to colonize their land. Once the invaders land and gain a foothold, they attempt to entice the unsuspecting natives with gifts of digital devices.

Ecclesiastes 10:1: ‘Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour’.

With twenty-four solo exhibitions to his credit, Wayne Paige has exhibited extensively both locally and nationally (The Corcoran Art Gallery, The Anderson Gallery, The Katzen Arts Center…). Publications as Art in America and the Washington Post have recognized Wayne’s art over time and his work is included in numerous public and private collections. Recently Wayne received recognition in having one of his works included in the “Washington Art Matters ll: 1940s – 1980s” exhibition at the American University Museum at the Katzen Center. The artist also received several awards including First Prize in The Fairfax Art Council awards, First Prize in The George Washington University Alumni Competition and a Special Recognition award from The Virginia Commission of the Arts. A graduate of The University of Illinois (BFA Painting) and The George Washington University (MFA Painting), Wayne has lived in the Washington, DC area since 1969.

University of California Washington Center is located at 1608 Rhode Island Ave NW.