STATEMENT ON ART:
My narrative paintings illustrate elements of American society’s psychic decline with familiar and yet uncanny scenarios that can be alternately grotesque, comedic, and horrifying. I combine commonplace and occasionally bleak landscapes with vividly rendered images inspired by biker parties, illustrated religious tracts, corporate mascots, counter-cultural rituals, and celebratory scenes from everyday life. My paintings aim to elicit an uneasy sensation that our own reality is not too dissimilar from these disturbing fictional worlds.
These worlds include scenes from the sad aftermath of an End of Days celebration, revelers left hung over in ruined psychedelic landscapes, bereft of heavenly salvation. These worlds include time-travelling prehistoric sea creatures and ancient astronauts, who have returned from a misty past to witness with amusement and horror humanity’s last hurrah.
Jesse Wiedel was raised in a rural community outside of the central valley town of Redding, California. After spending his young life navigating the cultural wastelands, he eventually migrated to the city and received his degree in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. He has spent the last twenty-five years making art in Humboldt County, California—fertile ground for his interest in human folly and frailties.
Jesse’s paintings can be read as satire, social criticism, or psychological horror. He works mainly in oil paint, in a style that is both illusionistic and painterly.