"We are like monkeys staring at the flame in the darkness of our souls."
Bohemian, opening at Yalo Studio on May 1st, is a collection of expressionist, figurative paintings (impasto oil and acrylic studies) and drawings (gestural pen, brush and ink) that combine symbols and motifs such as astronauts, Native Americans, skeletons, monkeys, still lifes, candlesticks, imaginary portraits, houseplants, sacred geometry, ocean liners, the Titanic, computer monitors, ghostly figures and office furniture.
As an expatriate and emigrant, Wells deals with metaphors of travel, immigration, cultural difference, isolation, technology and the future. Wells went to Prague the first time in the early 1990s, as a member of the first wave of American expatriates. After living in New Orleans and New York, in 2001 he returned to Prague, where he continues to live and work in his studio in the former industrial area of Vysocany.
He has shown his works in a number of underground, alternative spaces including AM180, Galerie Kytka, Berlinskej Model, Galerie Prokopka, and Galerie NTK among others. Wells' work moves from mysterious narratives to symbolic memento mori still lifes and emotional portraits to evocative hauntological examinations of retro-future nostalgia, becoming increasingly metaphysical as they approach the "Internet of Things" with a certain mistrust.
"I think there will always be something of excitable youth in Wells and his work no matter how old he is, the question-asker, the jokester, the finger-pointer, the self-mocker, the bullshit-shoveler, the Mephistophelian dancer."
-- Lisa Howorth, author of Flying Shoes "Expatriate - painter - immigrant - southerner. The paintings tell the tale, rich expressive surfaces, sensuous pallet, and haunting content. Lawrence Wells forges iconic images that resonate and stay with you." --Bill Dunlap, painter.
See Lawrence Wells' work at Yalo Studio in Water Valley, MS, beginning May 1, 2015.