Art | April 5, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Rebecca Wilkinson

Featured Artist
Rebecca Wilkinson

Bex Wilkinson’s formal art education began at The Art Institute of Chicago, continued at Pitzer College in California, and moved coasts to Sarah Lawrence College in New York where she received her BA. It was at Sarah Lawrence that she had access to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, enabling her to study the artists’ work she admired in person while sketching and drawing for hours. As Bex grew into her creative identity her subject matter and medium choice began to take shape. Drawing inspiration from an idealization of Frida Khalo and the art coming out of the German Expressionist era, Wilkinson focused her subject matter on the undercurrents of society. Using large scale format and a mixed media application, Wilkinson creates vibrant art that is leading in regards to the viewers interpretation. Post education, Bex dedicated herself to raising her children, working in film production and entrepreneurial endeavors. Following a major life event in 2016, Bex found herself returning to her life as a painter in order to work through the emotions and trauma that ensued. This embarkation led her to dedicating herself thoroughly to her creative expression resulting in the body of work exhibited today. Currently, Bex shows in galleries around the globe and works from her studio in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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Image courtesy of Rebecca Wilkinson

Bex’s background with grief led her to create works that probe what lies deeper within the human psyche. The early loss of her art enthusiast father and the suicide of her late spouse in 2016 awakened a dormant need to create. Bex returned that same year to explore both her grief and the uncomfortable topics of contemporary society and its downfalls after 20 years of not painting. Delving into her subconscious Bex channels what weighs on the collective unconscious. Often the subjects of her works emerge as archetypes labeled from Jungian psychology. The symbols of the mandala, the crucifix, and skeleton iconography often appear in her work to guide the viewer into what she sees as the unending cycle of karma and suffering. Her work often infuses humorous collaged elements of modern society that describe the circus in which humanity engages in the face of death. Bold brushstrokes and purposeful free-form application of paint speaks as a metaphor of the mess that is the human experience. Her works expressionistic images are not cleanly portrayed, but rather projected onto the raw canvas.

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Image courtesy of Rebecca Wilkinson

Rebecca Wilkinson, Bex, lives and paints in Sun Valley, ID. Her work consists of both abstract and life studies. Her medium-large scale abstractions are primarily mixed-media on linen canvas and her life studies are pen and pastel on paper. Her work started to become a reflection the irony of modern day society, she is currently explores complex global topics. The overconsumption and feed of advertisements against a background of conflicting messages about wealth, health and general well-being. Rebecca Wilkinson thought is that the planet is screaming out for help: climate change, transgender movement, #metoo, Roe vs. Wade being overturned, Putin’s war on Ukraine, and an American society shriveling potential human rights fueled her angst and creativity. Occasionally, she breaks out of the collective message and makes images of peace. Obsessed by the under currents of modern day society she hopes to reach an audience that “gets it” and feels the same. A resonance of discontent that could fuel political and personal action towards change for the better. Throught her artworks, Rebecca Wilkinson wants to defend the human rights, some of her paintings – such as Hell-scape are a remembrance to all the victims of atrocities committed by dictators and the huge negative karma it leaves on our planet.

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Image courtesy of Rebecca Wilkinson

She also use her artworks to denounce the situation regarding the right for an abortion, in her mind the outrage felt in our current society of women being thrown back 50 years to state-mandated or opposed abortion is tangible in America from a majority of women (including the artist.) so Try Me is the cry of women in America to be put to the test of the ramifications of being thrown back a half a century.

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Image courtesy of Rebecca Wilkinson

Another part of her artistic production, suche as Pigs, refers to both the boarish nature of some of our lesser evolved men who have gone to prison in violation of women. Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Justice Alito who overturned Roe vs. Wade are featured in this piece. The PIG is also representative of women going to the slaughter in the face of the men overturning women’s reproductive rights. Included are the men who have personally hurt me the “David’s and Steve’s” of the world- a generalized name for which many women can relate.

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Image courtesy of Rebecca Wilkinson

Don’t Say CUNT is a direct reaction to the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill passed in the Florida Senate- bans instruction or classroom discussion about LGBTQ issues for kindergarten through third grade. For older students, discussion about gay and transgender issues has to be “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.” This piece is about what we are and are not allowed to say- both on the far right and the far left. It is a mockery of a chalkboard which resembles when students used to get in trouble and had to write “I will not…(whatever the infringed punishment) at the front of the class. It is about how we teach our children and how we over-schedule them into constant activities not allow “idle” time. It is also about how we learn and Learning Differences.

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Image courtesy of Rebecca Wilkinson

Specimen was completed shortly after the January 6th Insurrection. The hidden Statue of Liberty is coated with manure-like material and a farcical x and o’s reminding the viewer that The United States of America is becoming a mere specimen of what it’s forefathers envisioned. The corruption is based mostly by greed as shown by the “specimen” of money implanted in the picture. To watch the short-documentary on Bex’s re-discovery of art through grief: Nature of Impermanence

more. www.bexwilkinson.com

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Image courtesy of Rebecca Wilkinson

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