Exhibition catalogue dedicated to Wesley Willis' drawings.
Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen is the first institution to present an extensive show of Willis' artwork, focusing on its fascination for Chicago's architecture and the throbbing activity of the Midwest metropolis: the characteristic skyline, the lakeside, the freeways as well as the uniform fast food chains. His interest for urban sceneries came from it being his natural habitat, which was then translated into thousands of magnificently detailed ballpoint/felt-tip renderings of the city and riding around on the bus.
Published in Occasion of the exhibition WW vs. GRRRR
at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, 28th April – 24th June 2007 (www.k9000.ch
), this book is followed by 2001
Wesley Willis (Chicago, 1963 - 2003) is an atypical artist and musician made cult by the American punk-rock
scene (from Henry Rollins or Jello Biafra to Pear Jam or Smashing Pumpkins). He began his artistic career singing on the street, accompanied by his Technics KN2000 keyboard. He was soon playing opening slots for local bands, and later recording songs as an homage to these performances (i.e. "Urge Overkill", "Swervedriver", "Foo Fighters", "The Frogs"). In 1989, Willis was diagnosed as schizophrenic; he explains that writing, performing, and recording help quiet the voices in his head. After about fifty records, most of his exposure came as an internet phenomenon during the early days of peer-to-peer file sharing.