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Happy, Crazy, American Animals and a Man and Lady at My Place

1961 John Wilde Born: Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1919 Died: Cooksville, Wisconsin 2006 oil on wood 12 x 17 7/8 in. (30.4 x 45.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 1969.47.47 Not currently on view


Luce Center Quote

"I hope my attitude is manifest in my work. I 'like' to paint and I like fruits, birds, shells, stones, contradictions, naked ladies, etc. It is inconceivable for me to paint other than what I like." Artist's statement, 1962

Luce Center Label

John Wilde paints in painstaking detail, filling his small images with real and imagined creatures. He incorporates nude female figures to symbolize nature, and in this work the running woman echoes the galloping pronghorn antelope beside her. Wilde's careful technique makes all the animals appear frozen in time, but it is easy to imagine them coming back to life at any moment, screeching and thumping their way through the house. The artist himself stands in the very back of the scene, watching the madness unfold with a calm expression as if he is controlling every movement.

Keywords

Animal - armadillo

Animal - bird

Animal - cat

Animal - deer

Animal - opossum

Animal - wolf

Architecture Interior - domestic - house

Fantasy - animal

Figure group

painting

paint - oil

wood

About John Wilde

Born: Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1919 Died: Cooksville, Wisconsin 2006

More works in the collection by
John Wilde