Randal Wilcox is an artist, independent curator and writer born and currently based in New York. His art has been reviewed in The New Yorker and exhibited at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Artists Space and Anthology Film Archives. Exhibitions that Wilcox has co-curated have been reviewed in Artforum and The New York Times. Wilcox studied painting and filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts; his work is in The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Museum of New Art (MoNA) and various private collections. Randal Wilcox is a Trustee of The Alvin Baltrop Trust. He is working on a graphic novel with composer and saxophonist Darius Jones, and has created album covers for the Darius Jones Trio and Quartet for the New York-based recording label AUM Fidelity.
Artist Statement: Saliva is used in portraits of myself as other people to incorporate my DNA into the images. This ensures that the resulting watercolor and acrylic paintings will bear my imprint and be “truthful”, even if the portraits are not entirely “accurate” representations of who and what I am.
Utilizing my appearance and genetic material as a starting point, I examine historical and current events for conceptual and emotional links to personages that are the exact opposite of what I perceive myself to be. I then place myself into the skins of these strangers and launch myself into situations that I would never want to be in, yet which others unfortunately are forced into through genetics or the impassive and unforgiving nature of chance.
The deadpan, excessively hyphened titles I give the paintings are used to break down identity into it’s barest form, emphasize the limitations that we place on ourselves and each other through description, and show the ultimately un-objective and flawed nature of language in describing the idiosyncrasies of human nature and behavior. Through repetition and variation, I become an Everyman (and occasionally an Everywoman); the specific experiences in the paintings become a universal, existential articulation of the burden of identity and the horrors present in everyday life that we all consciously or unconsciously avoid in order to function. This series of Saliva Paintings will reach its conclusion when I have rendered myself as everyone, everything and anything that has or possibly could exist.