The Work Of Art In The Age Of Compulsive Reproduction: Two Decades In The Oeuvre Of Wade Guyton

Along with other iconic elements, such as his famous x’s and u’s, flashes of fire and flames have spread across Guyton’s work since the mid-1990s, when he arrived in New York City from Tennessee, with no clear idea of what made the city’s contemporary art market tick. The first time he presented his printed works as “paintings” was in 2006, at his aptly titled exhibition ‘Paintings’ in London. “Once you give something a name, along with it comes all the art historical baggage, but a lot of possibilities and new levels of meaning, too,” he says. Art needs language to be contextualized and, of course, Guyton’s terminology entered art critical discourse as a provocation. Stunned by the seeming simplicity of his process and, perhaps, inspired (or offended) by the artist’s penchant for playing with words, some people dismissed him as a “high-end art director”. Clearly, some people weren’t paying attention.

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