A "Motivational Solo Show" and Studio Visit with Willehad Eilers aka Wayne Horse in Amsterdam
I was so excited about my studio visit with Willehad Eilers, aka Wayne Horse, a few weeks ago in Amsterdam, where I got a look at new works invigorated by his return to an old process, but still pulsating with exuberant irreverence. He spoke enthusiastically about a world-spanning tour for the coming spring and summer, and days later, those plans entered what is now a communal, but hopeful, pending file. For now, enjoy the mind and mayhem of Wayne Horse.
Pivoting from outline and illustration based compositions, the German-born artist is now constructing works from the inside, using oils to guide the development and narrative of his imagery. Gleefully exploiting a medium he eschewed for a while, Eilers plays with the images, building up a sinewed muscle or visually shaking loose a precarious tooth. The tension of creating a perfectly formulated picture, and then creating a tremorous narrative makes both his practice and finale thrilling. Sometimes it's the addition of another character, sometimes the negation of a key element, and often a vastly overplayed feature, but his humor and flourish always push the work into a freaky, fascinating sphere.
Taking references from vintage photos as well as Instagram, the images are filled with Playboy bunnies, loose pinup babes, fallen bikini models, and an abundance of sleazy, leering men, carousing on a carousel to nowhere, Eiler’s parodies of indulgence and pleasure depict a party with mayne the wrong premise, a crowded party that goes on way too long.
How interesting that within weeks of originally seeing them, the works look louder and maybe more fraught, scenes of overcrowding, where personal space is a foreign concept. Fueled by questionable displays of affection, arguably consensual tongue kissing, and copious (un)called and (un)intended flash display, Eilers' visuals might be a call to order!
These particular works are painted for his future presentations which include Dallas Art Fair with Galerie Droste, a duo show with Philip Mueller at Harlan Levey Projects, Brussels, a "motivational solo show" at Concordia in Enschede, The Netherlands, as well as participation in group shows with Galerie Droste in Paris and Marian Cramer Projects in Amsterdam. —Sasha Bogojev