Through both painting and drawing, Atticus Wakefield investigates the most primal and visceral elements of human nature. He employs bold, yet harmonious, brushstrokes to create paintings that pulse with vitality, allowing him to unflinchingly capture the intensity of what it means to be alive and engaged in the human struggle. His works of art explore grand themes - power, violence and desire - subjects that have somehow always gripped the imagination of artists over time.
The artist’s vivid use of colour and dynamic, all-over mark-making imbue his paintings with a raw, pulsating energy that speaks to the very essence of human experience. Energy is everywhere - limbs flail, bodies pulse, tumult abounds - as Wakefield strives to invoke the twisted, muscular space that oscillates between the sacred and the profane, appearing at times to revel in the sheer, corporeal collision of pleasure and pain.
Wakefield’s painting process is born out of a knowledge of art history and, in particular, a deep appreciation of the paintings of both Rubens and Poussin; but, in truth, his frame of references and artistic influences encompass a whole array of European painters - fromBruegel to Titian to Hogarth - all of whose central explorations similarly touched upon the darkest recesses of the human psyche. Like others before him, Wakefield engages with extremes of human behaviour, choosing to hone in on that essential struggle between desire and restraint, violence and vulnerability, and it is these visceral dichotomies of human endeavour that play out so deftly and timelessly across his canvases.
Atticus Wakefield (b. 1998, New York) received his BA in 2020 from UCLA, with a focus in painting and art history. Wakefield has participated group exhibitions at Estrella Gallery,New York, 2021 (Death of Ulysses) and Gaaaaasp, New York, 2021 (Two Left Feet), Anonymous Gallery, New York, 2022 (Bermuda Triangle), and Ambar Quijano, Mexico City, 2022(Liquid Frictions). The Song Remains the Same at Incubator 23 is Atticus Wakefield’s first solo exhibition.