Mark Wigan is a Cheshire born contemporary artist who creates social and cultural hieroglyphs for our time, a prolific artist his distinctive body of work demonstrates a commitment to graphic directness, the power of the imagination and the compulsion to draw. His practice encompasses a wide variety of experimental approaches and media including painting, drawing, writing, photography, bookworks, sculptural pieces and context specific installation. His work explores and responds to anthropology and subcultures and he is the co founder and curator of the Museum of Club Culture in Hull with artist Kerry Baldry.
Wigan’s artworks are signposts to the ancient past and also a visual anthem for the information overload of the twenty first century. His pictographs, ideographic images and biomorphic forms create a kaleidoscopic interplay. They evoke a magical symbolism referencing the collective unconscious, ancient motifs and the beginning of language itself. These flat, graphic artworks arise from the artists subconscious and his personal mnemonic reservoir of iconography.
His vivid imaginary landscapes teem with weightless schematic figures, neon skeletons, boss eyes, wiggy antennae, plants, totemic forms and a jungian ark of hybrid creatures which form intricate patterns within a technicolour chaos of paint. Employing diagrammatic simplicity, the structure of all over grid patterns and free association he creates artworks that ignite a primal resonance for the viewer which enables them to create their own associations with the diverse pictorial elements. An influential pioneer of transglobal urban art in New York, Tokyo and London during the 1980s and 90s his idiosyncratic paintings and drawings are now held in private and public collections worldwide. In 1986 Andy Warhol described Wigan’s four floor mural at London’s Limelight Club as HOT! and recommended him to also paint the Limelight Club in New York.Wigan’s approach is interdisciplinary, crossing fine art, illustration and urban art his output has included theatre and television set design, live painting performances, murals, public art and regular international gallery exhibitions including solo exhibitions at Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spiral Hall Tokyo, Galerie Desmos Paris and Galeria Art Affairs in Gdansk. He has lectured at art schools around the world and was Head of BA and MA Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. Wigan has written six books on contemporary illustration published by Bloomsbury publishing. Recently his artwork was featured on shoes and boots for Dr Martens for the acclaimed Mark Wigan X Dr Martens Collection. His recent drawings are characterised by a move to abstraction. They teem with biomorphic forms, and are intuitive, playful and intriguing. Through the manipulation of lines, mass and space the new works explore the relationship between, free flowing mark making, dance and music.Wigan experiments with a range of visual languages and materials while retaining a unique and singular artistic vision.
August 21, 2017
Painting, A - D