Sacramento, CA based artist Wel Sed defines his major influences as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Jackson Pollock, Paul Laffoley, Joe Coleman, HR Giger, Elvgren, Frank Frazetta, Norman Rockwell, and John Singer Sargen and carries on a tradition of figurative work with a mixture of stylized abstraction. This black and white abstraction (often referred to as “tattooed” skin by most viewers) is actually his representation of the concept that our souls do not live in us but around us. If it is said that the heart is worn on the sleeve, then to him the soul is worn on top of that.
Using Jewelers lenses to paint with extremely small brushes, the details can take anywhere from a few months, to in one case 7 + years to finish. In the spirit of action artists and writers like William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac stream of consciousness works, the black lines are laid down first in a unconscious way. White paint is then used to pull images out of that chaotic line work; a metaphor for our attempts at making sense of our realities through defining our often binary perspectives.
Filled with faces or memories of places from his past, Wel weaves a narrative about the type of human beings we are by using black, white, and gray tones to signify our very definitive stances on how we see the world: very black and white, and how we’re not only that which we perceive but also those what we interact with. Growing up in a very matriarchal family, all of this detail is encased on the form of primarily female subjects (chosen from random photo references) as representations of his emotional states.
The choice of data mining the subjects via found photo references allows Wel to also introduce the metaphor of oneness between strangers. Unwittingly, the viewer and the subject come together in the thought space that is created when one interacts with the art. With the narratives of emotion and psychology, individuality and homogeny occurring simultaneously on his work, he attempts to bridge the gap between our head and our hearts to arrive at a place where viewers can have a moment with the work as if digging into themselves to find connectivity. The work speaks to you as he would, complicated, but visceral, when he cannot.
His next body of work has been 3 years in the making, and is comprised of figurative framework unlike what he’s done before. Inspired by the love story of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Lady Jaye, he is attempting to describe the idea of two people in love attempting to join into one entity by placing his style in the context of trans individuals and cross dressers as a metaphor for the joining of gender. An ambitious project, he will be researching with trans and LGBT communities and fellow artists in those communities to figure out how to best display his vision with being respectful to the community that is acting as a surrogate platform for said vision.