Wish I Might
May 5 ~ June 10th 2018
Wish I Might Artists
My collages are often influenced by my personal outlook and true life experiences. I share a
fraction of my own little world, by promoting strength, knowledge, and self awareness to
overcome social flux and challenges; learning from them through the art of mixed media. I like to
express my playful side, never shunning the Basquiat beneath. Culled from the social
consciousness and current events of today, each of my pieces feature a different cultural
comment viewed through the lens of my experiences. The simple overlapping of many small
pieces, arranged in just the right way speaks volumes, touching on issues implicitly without
being overbearing or sanctimonious. My work tends to stand as a viewers’ test, challenging
what one sees versus what they feel in relation to the contemporary pits, progress and powers
effecting as all.
Aaron Whisner is co-founder of Clean Hands, a Tulsa based mural crew and streetwear shop.
Aaron has been actively painting since the mid 90’s. With roots in graffiti and street art scenes,
inspiration is drawn from hand painted signage, street textures and type. Bold use of imagery
and technique is used to capture public attention while maintaining balance with surrounding
environments. With each installation progression is the goal.
Ken Flewellyn is a realist painter fascinated by the intersection of diverse cultures, personal
histories, and Hip Hop, Flewellyn creates portraits of women that challenge our assumptions
about identity and cultural homogeneity.Inspired by his lifelong love of Hip Hop and his coming
of age as a boy during its golden age in the 80s,
Flewellyn’s work has always been about music and its impact on his personal vantage point and
outlook on the world. As a cultural form, Hip Hop emerged from a localized cultural moment only
to evolve into a variegated and international form that would systemically embrace the freedom
of appropriation, and the complexity of multiple voices. This idea of cultural heterogeneity has
influenced recurring themes in his imagery and has shaped his belief in the positive power of
Borrowing motifs and inspiration from Japanese culture and aesthetics, a visual influence in his
home since childhood, Flewellyn often depicts women in traditional Japanese garb, silks, and
kimonos. The subjects, however, remain anonymous, visible only by hands, body, and gestures,
seldom, if ever, are faces or individuals revealed in their entirety. The subject’s identity, as a
result, is relayed by the presence of revelatory objects, tattoos, and accessories – external clues
that point to something beyond the seen and allow for the aesthetic to prevail over individuation
or the distraction of specificity. That being said, however, Flewellyn depicts real women based
on actual people – friends, and strangers – anchoring his imagery in reality rather than
The juxtaposition of formal cultural garb and pop cultural accoutrements keeps the work
fascinating. These tightly cropped compositions are always informed by the presence of Hip
Hop imagery, whether in the form of boom boxes, tapes, gold chains or typography. Playful and
energized with tactility and detail, they’re both sensual and contemporary – solemn and light.
“I have always been fascinated with old photographs…so candid in our attempt to document the
everyday and how easily these images can become icons. My work is a multi-layered evolution
of vivid color, playful shapes, textural fragments, and long forgotten photographic images of
nonchalant figures. Each layer is a moment, a new thought, sometimes revealing of what came
before and at other times hidden as the momentum continues. I like to tap into the viewer’s
sense of self by unveiling a connectedness to a moment. While identity remains anonymous, a
sensitivity to time and space takes over. As I paint in the round, I offer no beginning or ends.
Simply taking you on a journey by offering snapshots of information buried along the way.
Savannah, GA has been my home for the past thirty years and I have exhibited regionally, as
well as nationally.”
Kerry Smith is an art director, graphic designer and painter. His work has been featured in the
international publications of PRINT magazine, How, Logo Lounge and 1,000 Dog Portraits.
Smith’s fine art has recently appeared in London, Chicago, Austin, St. Louis and Kansas
City. His work is also featured in The Loft, Wilco’s Chicago Recording Studio. And staying true to
his roots, Smith has been an active member of various art organizations throughout the Midwest
including The Gogh-Getters and Edwardsville Arts Center. He is currently co-founder and
curator of The Gogh-Getters in Edwardsville, IL. In his spare time Kerry draws, writes, listens to
music and enjoys life.
My paintings explore the things we look at each day without seeing. Though everything is game
imagery-wise, I am drawn to advertising images and glyphs, the visual shorthand of
Bright colored blocks compose my acrylic and mixed media paintings. I enjoy the look and feel
of loose, graffiti-like marks, text, and “noise” against these vividly hued planes. Usually I paint
with layers, with each new layer showing a bit of the one beneath, either by transparency, the
masking of certain areas, or by a scraping away of recent layers. Often this process yields
unexpected colors and forms.
My fine art influences include Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Stuart Davis, Andy Warhol
and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I’m also influenced by the regional art of my native American South,
especially by Southern folk artists’ use of text as both a thematic and decorative element. The
Quilts of Gee’s Bend are a key influence. I also draw inspiration from graffiti art, specifically the
stylized, single gesture marks of graffiti tagging.
In a sense my paintings are post-modern landscapes- I paint what I see. A painting’s
composition may derive from an underpass’s blocky, irregular patchwork of painted-over graffiti.
Another piece’s umber and vermillion color scheme may be inspired by a business sign I’ve
seen on a street that I travel regularly.
Hellbent‘s work is grounded in the earliest experiments of abstract art and the influence of
music on the artform. His paintings are layered and seem to race across whatever surface he is
working on, from canvas to large outdoor murals. His current body of work acknowledges this by
him naming it “The Mix Tape” series. Bright color and bold patterns seem to sing in an unlikely
harmony, like the music he seems to be drawn to.
Rodrigo Valles’s works highlight the beauty and truth in decay and weathering. Even in his
youth he viewed spray paint art as fine art because it was innovative and expressive. As such,
his love for graffiti makes frequent appearances in his paintings. Delving further into the
psychology behind his art, Rodrigo believes that encounters with sadness, confusion and
destruction force an assessment of what is truly precious, thereby becoming moments of
insight. The physical manifestation of this is seen in his juxtapositions of urban decay and
life. o’s works highlight the beauty and truth in decay and weathering. Even in his youth he
viewed spray paint art as fine art because it was innovative and expressive. As such, his love for
graffiti makes frequent appearances in his paintings. Delving further into the psychology behind
his art, Rodrigo believes that encounters with sadness, confusion and destruction force an
assessment of what is truly precious, thereby becoming moments of insight. The physical
manifestation of this is seen in his juxtapositions of urban decay and life.
Mike Shine‘s painting based projects include large scale street murals, extensive installations,
and performances – each united beneath his mythical character creation, Dr. Pyotr Mastolf Ilyas
(Dr. Flotsam, for short). Mastolf Ilyas is Shine’s modern day version of Mephistopeles, crafted in
the persona of a centuries-old Eastern European Carnival leader.
Shine’s installations have been featured at SFMOMA, The SF Museum of Craft and Folk Art,
The Laguna Art Museum, 941 Geary in SF, White Walls SF, and the Corpo Gallery in Los
In his collage portraits, Derek Gores recycles magazines, labels, data, and assorted found
analog and digital materials to create the works on canvas. The series showcases Gores’
contrasting interests in the living beauty of the figure, the angular and abstract design aesthetics
of fashion, and a fearless sense of play. His fine art canvases are exhibited by galleries in New
York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Sydney, Cologne, Miami, Santa Fe and more. Gores’ design clients
include Dwell Magazine, Lincoln Motor Co., ESPN, Lenny Kravitz, Lucasfilm, Kings of Leon, U2,
Adidas, Madonna, Harley Davidson, Standard Collective, the National Football League,
LiveNation, SEIU and more.
The Rhode Island School of Design grad lives and works in Melbourne, Florida, exhibiting and
curating with the bold upstarts there, surrounded by the intellect and culture of the Space Coast.
Derek was honored to have his work selected for the Manifest Hope DC exhibit coinciding with
the Presidential Inauguration in 2009, and in 2010 he was named “One of the 40 important
artists of the New Contemporary Movement”, while in an exhibition in London.