The Process by Wesley Wright

Wright’s One-week show in Gallery Two at SJSU is exceptional!
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Because they last only one week, the public often misses the most amazing student shows in the SJSU Art Department.  But drop by for a guest artist lecture in Room 133 at 5:00 pm on any Tuesday and stay for the openings in the six student galleries, visit the Thompson Gallery, and you are bound to find more than one truly exciting show.  Wesley Wright’s show has now come and gone, but he is a prolific artist and we can expect him to show more work before he graduates.

Wright’s ceramic reliefs are a comic observation on his own life and the human condition in general.  His substantial skills in clay are certainly worth mention, but his self-effacing self portraits and interpretations of old standards such as a totem, or an adage such as, perhaps, you are what you eat, are wonderfully silly and arresting at the same time. In one self portrait, Wright, the magician, is seen to be blowing bubbles from the lips of two conjoined replicas of his head.  One mouth forms the bubbles with his lips and the other releases them from his tongue. Entitled “The Process,” we get the idea that the process of ceramics is magical in itself, and the artist celebrates the marvel of being able to form his art from the clay earth — a process as simple yet wonderful as blowing bubbles.

Wesley Wright’s Chicken of the Sea

For me the chicken is an eternally entertaining animal, so I am especially drawn to “Chicken of the Sea” and “Totem.”  In the former, two somewhat stunned chickens witness the metamorphoses of one chicken’s head into a fish that disappears down the gullet of the second chicken.  In “Totem,” Wright again plays with a number of animal and human heads metamorphosing one into another.  The multitude of eyes of the figures in “Totem” go in every which direction, some of them suggesting the dullness of death by decapitation, others simply dull-wittedness, but once again, our chickens, at the top, are alert and alarmed by the crazy world in which they are captured.

Wright’s Totem

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