Studio Time

Studio Visit: Willehad Eilers aka Wayne Horse and his "Happy Holidays Forever"

February 19, 2018

We recently visited the unconventional studio space of Willehad Eilers aka Wayne Horse, situated in the back of a prominent restaurant in North Amsterdam. Working with the theme of celebrations, festivities and decadence, it feels like the German artist found a perfect working environment to produce his peculiar work.

Overlooking the sizeable space of the well-known eatery, dominated by a giant chandelier, the Amsterdam-based artist is currently busy creating new pieces for his upcoming solo show with Droste Gallery in Wuppertal, Germany. Titled Happy Holidays Forever, the show revolves around the idea of never-ending party, portrayed through chaotic scenes of endless debauchery. Basing his work on multiple images showing individual scenes of joy, Eilers combines these pictures into complex scenes of rowdy behaviors. From gala diners turning into a messy festival-like sites, to cavalry departing to celebrate their wins to Ibiza, his paintings and drawings are focused on conveying that careless spirit of complete looseness.

In order to achieve this, the artist developed a technique which is very intuitive and spontaneous, enabling him to draw or paint while looking only at the reference image. The result of such approach is a highly expressive visual language, full of sketched or even wrongly painted elements, all contributing to the overall feel of the painting. Further on, such approach entirely removes the technical aspect as a factor, leaving more room for appreciating the theme and completed work.

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The idea is to reveal the flawed human condition and its perpetual evolution, as well as the commonly self-centered social selves. By using historic and vintage reference images, the final impressions feel timeless and credible, further accented by a simple red/white/black color palette. Along with these complex pieces, Wayne Horse is also creating a series of canvases in which a simple image is underlined or juxtaposed by a line of text. Regularly playful, humorous or plain bizarre, these works are directly following artist's previous video, drawing, performance and installation creations he's been developing in the past. For Happy Holidays Forever, Eilers is preparing a total of 4 large works and a couple of smaller canvases, a series of ink drawings on paper, as well as a site specific sculpture/installation. 

Photos and text by @SashaBogojev 

The show will be on view in Wuppertal, Germany from March 17 to May 19, 2018.