The latest guy who is attracting international attention makes microscopic art that fits on the head of a needle and must be seen through microscopes.
Fascinating and novel, Willard Wigan has a compelling back story about why he makes these tiny sculptures of the "The Incredible Hulk", "Wizard of Oz", "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", Rodin's "The Thinker", a golfer, a line of camels heading toward the pyramids, "Peter Pan", and "Elvis"!
I thought about artist-as-carnival-performer after seeing a bit of the movie Pollack recently. See Jackson Pollack abusing his wife, who has devoted herself to promoting his genius. See him sleeping with Peggy Guggenheim because he was falling down drunk. See him being late for his own career and being generally disorderly except when it came to his craft. Then when his genius emerges he dies prematurely in a drunken crash. But he, like Basquiat and Warhol, is as much performer and (literal and figurative) car wreck as master artist.
Nicole Gallery features Willard Wigan, Art in the Eye of a Needle, in Chicago at 230 West Huron until October 1. This guy makes microscopic sculptures. I think that is an original idea.
The other original part of this event is the $3.00 admission fee the gallery is charging to see the exhibition after the opening night, which was free. At first I thought, "this is crazy", but only for a second. Then I thought, it's about time people pay to see us visual artists. The galleries don't pay us, except if we sell something and they get 50% of that. If they do pay, you probably are such a a big name, your income is fairly secure anyway. I have been asked, so many times I can't count, to display art for free to gain exposure, or opportunities, that rarely come to fruition. Getting some bucks up front is a new idea, and I think it's not so bad. Wigan also gives a portion of the sales of work during the reception to charity, according to my invitation.
What else can you buy for $3.00? You certainly can't buy a ticket to the circus!