Cumwizard69420’s paintings, bold and brash, draw upon a distinctly American lineage which might be traced back to The Joy of Painting, Bob Ross’s populist and instructional PBS television program. Ross, who seems to have borrowed the title of his own show from the 1972 illustrated manual The Joy of Sex (or perhaps—more erotically—from the Joy of Cooking), took a virile approach to his performance, once noting that he imagined himself talking to a woman in bed instead of communing with his audience. But Ross left sex off his canvasses, along with anything more provocative than an erect coniferous. His works glaringly more anti-establishment than Ross’s comparably mundane landscapes, Cumwizard69420’s approach towards American folk art demonstrates that it is not an artist at the bottom of each and every one of us but, instead, an artist in each of our bottoms.
A young autistic Diogenes who has armed himself with a paintbrush, Cumwizard69420’s scatological still lives, landscapes, and portraiture feature characters from the puerile schizoid clashes that make up the ever-changing subjects of today’s pseudo-political culture wars. A clear stand against the hypersensitivity of those not yet blackpilled, the artist’s intent “to be funny” – the self- described sole motivation for his practice – resonates with
the clouds of creativity percolating online of post-nihilistic, and typically debased, humor-oriented creators. Whether they be misanthropic or inherently social, these subcultures of satire become a strange and sly solace from the onslaught of monetized rage and reaction cycles. Cumwizard69420’s acrylic and oil paintings on canvas and watercolors on paper function as an offensive against idealism and the gravity of contemporary art, embracing the inner imbecile as a mode of self-realization.
Making his works in a basement in the suburbs of DC, Cumwizard69420 has no hesitation in borrowing from contemporary greats and less fear of courting controversial subject matter. He brazenly reconstitutes Lucien Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (1995) next to a pile of ravaged McDonald’s packaging, and playfully replaces the waves from Katherine Bradford’s Fear of Waves (2015) with an eruption of cum. What Cumwizard69420 brings to figurative painting extends the tradition of the avant garde outsider art pioneered by Paul McCarthy, Keith Boadwee, or the neoexpressionist works of Guston. His spastic paintings shatter the spectacle of the moralizing seriousness within art with an outrageous and heretical spirit.
Curated by Patrick Kellycooper