Weston James Palmer (WJP) is an American multidisciplinary artist from Los Angeles, California. The exploration of human emotion and its complex relationship with things (objects) and/or beings (people) is precisely what WJP seeks to represent in his work. Both sides of the coin are explored, albeit the internal and external elements of human interaction, particularly through means of art (installation, painting, sculpture), photography, film, and technology.
One way in which WJP’s work involves this exploration of human emotion and its internal and external interaction, is through the means of paradoxical manipulation, mostly through photography. Distorting and confusing, as well as invoking a sense of clarity in his work, allows WJP to successfully arouse an unconscious feeling within his audience.
One of WJP’s most recent photography projects: “Stop Before the Memory is Gone”, represents the inevitable disappearing memory which occurs only once we cease to spend enough valuable time perceiving our surroundings. He recreates this notion by blurring aspects of each image, further distorting and confusing his subject’s perception, all at the same time teaching us a valuable lesson that has gone unnoticed for 2,000 years: According to WJP, as well as Socrates, “the unexamined life is not worth living”.
Further, WJP shoots the ordinary and mundane objects of everyday life, most recently traveling to New Orleans in an attempt to turn unmemorable objects (trashcans, streetlights and so on), into memorable ones. WJP is, then, an audience engager, on an irrational and rational level, forcing his audience to smash the glass ceiling of a repetitive life-cycle, filled with convention, custom, and tradition.
In contrast to his contemporaries, WJP has adopted a unique identity. WJP is the man responsible for the famous signature colour palette, coined as “Sexhue” (a solid or mix of pink, purple, blue and/or orangish hues). And, as a brand, “SEX” has developed into a fashion statement, making it an adaptable image of vast potential. Least to mention, “SEX” has its own symbol of a white rabbit, representing the prolific, yet innocent reproductive mentality with which the modern world has become accustomed. In the process, WJP has become a recognizable figure because his visual representation is able to float across multiple mediums in a strong and consistent manner, providing him with a loyal following on both Instagram and Youtube.
WJP is also recognized for his “SMILE” concept. WJP not only suggests human emotion, but influences it too. Injecting an element of positivity has inspired a large number of aspiring artists, proving WJP to be a cultural influencer; at the request of his fans, WJP has decided to create short videos called “Conversations” which aim to provide advice for aspiring artists.
WJP’s work is known to involve full absorption, concentration, and insatiable curiosity, all of which further prove his visionary input and output in his field. David Zander, President of MJZ claimed in a letter of recommendation:
“Weston’s work and capabilities are endless. He has true creative vision occupied with a rare charm and integrity. He has a real understanding of the world and is able to call upon his creative ingenuity to forecast the upcoming, setting him light years ahead of his contemporaries.”
WJP’s work has become viral worldwide, working with brands such as Coach, Leica, and Apple. Alongside this, WJP has accomplished 15 awards, one of which includes the 2013 Addy award which saw WJP creating an interactive gallery for Guy Hepner, beating both Audi and Disney. He has also been involved in countless group shows such as Rise Like Water and 8020 following his “Obama & Steve” installation, sharing the platform with Banksy and Shepard Fairy.
For WJP, the fusion of sound and image is an important part of his storytelling. In his visual art, WJP aims to achieve a sense of anarchy, in turn combining two-worlds: reality/imagination. WJP has released a new series called “Exploration Human Life”, which is a series of short clips made up of a singular image in motion, accompanied either by oddly satisfying music, and/or distorted sound. At its roots, then, WJP’s work is unashamedly inspired by sound. It is as important as the image, insofar that it acts as a mental shortcut to the unconscious mind, further exploring the depths of human emotion.
In all of his work, it is WJP’s intention to explore human emotion and its relationship to all things and beings, to explore the internal and external element of human nature, and to straddle the line between reality and fiction. Putting it mildly, WJP is essentially a New-Existentialist, provoking questions like ‘who am I?’ and ‘where am I going’, accompanied by an unparalleled optimistic flare.
Photo Credit: Grant Legan