Ken Wilson Art

Collages were always so lame and girly in elementary school, unless, of course, you made them. Then they didn't exist. Seriously, you don't even have a gluestick! Dropping a manned-up spin on the collage wave, Ken Wilson.

A Chi artist who's drawn inspiration from such far-ranging influences as Andy Warhol, Gustav Klimt, and comic books, Wilson employs a blend of his own paintings and sketches and cutouts culled from a robust family archive of old publications to craft stylish, edgy, collage-y works that put the efforts of your youth to shame, just like your Sunday School teacher. Much of his recent work involves a series of "Dead Rock Star" portrayals like a colorfully rasta'd up Bob Marley, a cool, bluesy Ray Charles, a pencil drawing of an aged Man In Black with an upside down "CASH" sticker, and a Beatles-laden depiction of ... Paul McCartney, who isn't actually dead, just dead to Ken Wilson. Less-famous folk are given similar rockstar treatment in portrait/collages, many of them friends of the artist who he had sit down for a quick photo session before immortalizing them in clutter from old copies of Life and Family Circle, like a wild-haired dude flanked by a pack of Lucky Strikes, or a young woman gazing in the general direction of a topless pinup, a composition you'll know as, way awesome.

Because conventional canvas is way '90s, a hefty proportion of his work is carefully screened onto discarded windows and other interesting wood/glass fragments, just the kind of out-of-the-box creativity you displayed in that JTT collage that NO ONE CAN KNOW ABOUT.