All of my work is informed by my discovery of a unique substrate to use as a starting point. Layers of paint are recovered from urban murals that have been repainted dozens and sometimes hundreds of times, building up a massive thickness that turns into a unique substrate. It’s a form of leather, inadvertently created over time by hundreds of different murals painted to announce and celebrate events that by now have long since passed. A substitute for canvas, but infinitely more interesting and fascinating because of the unique combination of colours and topography of the layers. They have a history, they have an identity (sometimes many), but they have been abandoned.
My collections differ in appearance and execution, but my medium is homogeneous. Each piece is created from urban extractions, carefully curated and modified from the ephemeral to create the timeless. In my unique process. My work is arranged methodically – singular pieces are layered over the other to create my abstract expressions. The recycled material gives each of my pieces its own distinct character, unified by an earthy aesthetic. It is my pleasure to create art with its own story – because, it is the very nature of a story to be retold. Larry Weidel spent his formative years travelling the world with his parents, as his father had a 23-year career as a member of the US Air Force. Every year a different posting, apart from one pivotal period, Weidel, at the impressionable age of 12, touched down in Tuscany. His family was to remain there for an extended period of three years. The new family home was in Tirrenia, on the timeless coast of central western Italy by the Ligurian Sea. The streets of the ancient Italian medieval cities like Pisa, Florence, Perugia, Sienna and Rome, hardly changed from centuries before, presenting classical and dramatic architecture enchanted the young Weidel and cast a spell that was to be seductive and enduring.
Inspired by the medieval master painters, his newfound surroundings and the philosophy of Renaissance, Weidel took up painting and photography – pursuits that would indelibly influence the rest of his adult life. Perhaps the most famous polymath and Renaissance figure, apart from Leon Battista Alberti, was Leonardo da Vinci, whose philosophical approach to the world was revolutionary, as were his inventive artistic endeavours. Weidel embraced Alberti’s thinking, that “a man can do all things if he will,” and adopted the premise that mankind is limitless in its capacity for development, and mankind should try to embrace all knowledge and develop their own capabilities as fully as possible.
The gifted men of the Renaissance sought to develop skills in all areas of knowledge – physical development, social accomplishments and the arts. The ideal was most brilliantly exemplified by Alberti who was an accomplished architect, painter, classicist, poet, scientist and mathematician and also a skilled horseman – and Leonardo da Vinci, whose gifts manifested in the fields of art, science, music, invention and writing. Throughout his remarkable life, Weidel has embodied some of the very same philosophies, and he continues to embrace these concepts to this day. He has studied architecture and become a proficient painter, accomplished musician and outstanding photographer, plus a bestselling author and proficient in a variety of equestrian sports – including show jumping, where he was privileged to compete against Olympic-level riders.
He has also projected these humanistic philosophies onto his professional career with a successful North American organization that he started and is now a dominant part of the parent corporation listed on the New York Stock exchange. One could say that as a result of his early exposures, he has become a true modern-day “Renaissance Man.” Weidel‘s universal approach is tempered by his personal spiritual outlook, he explains his fascination with photography in this fashion, coming from Philippians 4:8, which states: “Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”