Wip∙Lash (Work in Progress | Whiplash) is an artist who draws inspiration from the realm of dark surrealism, and adeptly merges this aesthetic by integrating printmaking and graphic design techniques.
Central to each of his creations is a deeply ingrained narrative, which unfolds during the developmental process. These artworks embody a perpetual transformation that resonates from the artist's conception to the discerning eye of the audience.
At the core of his philosophy lies the belief that every individual is an ongoing masterpiece, continuously evolving — a work in progress.
2021 Memento Mori, Julien Scott Memorial Gallery, 200 S Pond Rd, Johnson, Vermont
WIP•LASH | PSEUDONYM MEANING
The choice of the artist name Wip∙Lash (Work in Progress | Whiplash) is a deliberate and multi-layered decision, reflecting the essence of the creative journey and the complex narratives woven into his work.
Firstly, "WIP" embraces the concept of a perpetual work in progress. It's the understanding that both the artist and his creations are continously evolving; never truly becoming completed. This name signifies a commitment to growth and self-improvement, reflecting the belief that art, like life, is an ongoing masterpiece.
The inclusion of "Whiplash" adds a contrasting dimension. It implies the sudden, jarring change that can occur in art and life. Just as a whiplash can swiftly shift one's perspective, the artist understands that his work can provoke intense emotional reactions and prompt viewers to question their assumptions and beliefs. It underscores the idea that art can be both transformative and disruptive.
Overall, "Wip∙Lash" encapsulates the artist's philosophy of embracing change, transformation, and the continuous evolution of both the individual and their creative expressions. It serves as a reminder that art is a dynamic, ever-changing force, and the artist's journey is one of perpetual growth and exploration.
The artist distances his personal identity by using this pseudonym to shift the spotlight away from the artist and onto the artwork, fostering a deeper connection between the the viewer and the creative process. Although Wip∙Lash offers inspirations and stories behind his works, he invites viewers to explore and derive their own significance from the art.
This approach allows for a more inclusive and open-ended engagement, where each viewer/wearer can weave their personal narratives and emotions into the art, connecting it intimately with their own life journeys.
When I begin a new piece, a ritual unfolds. It starts by coming across a song that encapsulates an emotional landscape that inspires me to create.
As I listen to the song on repeat, it's as if a short film plays in my consciousness—a vivid, cinematic journey that transports me to a world created by the music's melodies and lyrics. Remarkably, this mental landscape remains vividly etched in my memory, and with every play of the song, I'm transported back, regardless of the passage of time.
The visuals from my works often appear as if they hail from an alternative universe built in fantasy. Yet, beneath the surface, they are intricately tied to personal battles with mental illnesses, traumatic experiences, and the broader scope of life's challenges.
During this intense creative process, there are moments when the emotional toll becomes so profound that I must step away from the artwork temporarily. These pieces often push me to confront aspects of my own life and experiences that I might have buried or ignored. The artwork becomes a mirror to my innermost emotions, forcing me to grapple with them in a way that can be both cathartic and challenging.
Conversely, there are some works that become even more involved, drawing me deeper into their intricate narratives. These pieces have a way of captivating me to such an extent that I lose track of time and, occasionally, the need for sleep. It's during these marathon sessions that I feel the closest connection to the artwork, as if it has taken on a life of its own. Minor sleep deprivation, while physically taxing, often pulls me further into the creative vortex, allowing me to dive even deeper into the emotional wellspring that the song and the artwork represent.
In these moments of intensity, the boundaries between the art and myself blur. I become not just the creator but a participant in the artwork's unfolding story. The emotional rollercoaster is both exhilarating and exhausting, but it's a testament to the power of art to evoke such profound responses. Somehow in these moments of vulnerability and transcendence, my most emotionally charged and authentic works come into being.
APPAREL | THE MEANING
Extending the essence of my original artworks, I've ventured into the realm of apparel—a step toward fostering a sense of community among those who connect with my creations. While the physical artwork carries its own narrative, the introduction of clothing elevates the experience by allowing viewers to weave these visual stories into their own lives.
It's a transformation where my work ceases to be solely something crafted by Wip∙Lash; it becomes a companion, a piece of art that you can carry with you throughout the day. These wearables transcend their functional purpose; they become vessels of storytelling. As you drape yourself in these garments, you're not just adorning clothing; you're embracing an artistic narrative that merges with your own. Whether it's a T-shirt, a hoodie, or any piece from the apparel line, each one becomes a canvas for personal expression.
What's remarkable is the profound sense of community that arises from this shared experience. When you wear a piece from my apparel line, you join a collective—a community of individuals who carry a piece of my art and intertwine it with their own stories. It's a silent, powerful connection, a way of saying, "I resonate with this narrative; it's a part of my journey too."
In this fusion of art and fashion, the boundaries between artist and audience blur. The art is no longer static; it's dynamic, alive, and ever-evolving as it adapts to the stories, emotions, and experiences of those who wear it. It becomes a source of comfort, a tangible reminder that art is not confined to gallery walls but can be an integral part of your everyday life—a testament to the enduring power of creativity to unite us, inspire us, and allow us to find solace and connection in shared narratives.