Raw, transcendental and overly mystifying it is no surprise that International artist Wendelll Mc Shine is from the island of “the Carnival” Trinidad and Tobago. Currently based and producing work in Mexico City there’s a lucid cross pollination expressed through stunning iconography.
When one moves full heatedly into the doorway of Wendelll’s, A.K.A. Shine’s work, a multi level narrative, which constructs upon itself is discovered. Bandidos, Jewel Stars, King Crows, Nahuales, Hummingbirds, mezcal bottles, plantation houses, skulls, towering coconut trees, hibiscus flowers, rubber “slippers”, etc., coexist in a world of wooden panels, canvases, organic animations, and paper mache masks.
“Coming up with dignity and focus through challenging conditions in the Caribbean ghetto, the 9th of ten brothers and sisters, has inspired me to delve into the avenues of the human condition and nature. In ‘the third world’, where opportunities don’t come by unless you have courage, spirit and conviction has been an undercover blessing allowing me to draw from my own life experiences and giving me a huge hunger to tell multidimensional stories that inspire.”
His animated shorts play an intrinsic roll in his art installations and have gained international recognition: Music video “Prosper” for 12 The Band, “Sunfly” is part of the DVD compilation of Michel Goundry’s film, “The Science of Sleep.” “El Baile del Chihuahua, a collaboration with Mexican video artist Fernando Llanos was featured in FICCO. He’s produced several shorts for IDN (International Design Network). Televisa has used his animations and creative direction for its television network image campaigns.
We are fortunate to have Wendell Mc Shine discuss his contribution to “FREEDOM & REVOLUTION” and his vision of art in the Digital Age.
Which work will you be exhibiting? Why did you select this piece?
In this work titled The Dream Weaver, my character (The Toy Maker), is free from the illusions of consumption and reflects the innovation of the Third World. In his constant state of collecting and weaving fragments of the mundane, making use of what could be considered garbage, he speaks to a culture that seeks to revolutionize the way in which we live.
What is your charity or cause? Why did you select this? Where does community work fit in with your ethos as an artist?
I´m contributing to the JDilla Foundation because its vision is within the same spirit as my aspiration to support our youth through the use of art. It is this that inspired me to create a program called Arts Project http://vimeo.com/9427072, were aside from using urban art workshops as a way to bring out the best in the young people, I also implement music therapy within the workshop model because music in tandem with visual art really explodes the imagination.
I come from a family of ten, so it was all about working as a team in order to survive on a daily basis. Family allows you to learn how to rely on each other, imprinting the value of community. My art is an extension of the worlds I interact with, the concepts and themes of my work reflect this and is what will always keep my work alive within its communal structure.
Please talk about your ideas of Freedom & Revolution. What do these words mean to you? How does your piece illustrate these ideas?
To me Freedom means an infinite world of possibilities and Revolution is actively creating new systems. I have these stories that I have to tell and I don’t sensor or limit the way in which I create these worlds. In this piece, the Toy Maker, is actively creating a community that he envisions where there is harmony with all aspects of nature.
Edition One Hundred is founded with the idea of providing artists the opportunity to transform new technology into a tool to both produce affordable art while simultaneously connecting to non-traditional art collectors. What are your thoughts on Edition One Hundred? Why did you decide to be involved? How do you see this as a platform to reach a broader audience for your work?
We have come out of an era were visual art was considered by most people as an elitist pass time. We started to see in my generation art become accessible through forms of graffiti, street art, and animation to name a few. I want to see the average person actually purchase a piece of art without reservations and the too common insecurities of, Ï don’t know anything about art. Edition One Hundred is bringing us closer to this vision via the insightful use of technology. This new generation is hip to the Internet and can see that visual art is not outside of them.
What are your thoughts on Art in the Digital Age?
The digital age has been a great tool for artist on all platforms. My characters have come out into worlds of animation but I’m not about relying on the various computer programs instead of my organic creativity, it has to be a fine balance to keep it all rooted in the human soul.
As an artist, you regularly produce work that is a manifestation of your distinctive vision. Yet at the same time you are influenced by the work of others. Do you collect art? If so, who do you collect? And if you had all the money in the world, who would you buy and why?
I have a few things in my secret stash. When I get all the money in the world I’ll commission from my homeboys Saner, Retna, David Ellis, and of course one must have a sick Doze Green in the mix. I will get these because the science behind their work is simply next level, real talk.
Why should people buy art?
People buy all types of stuff that makes them feel happy. Art is special because it nourishes the soul buying it is a small price to pay for receiving and sharing that God energy.
What are some of your current projects?
I am in studio creating new works for my solo exhibition at Gallery Anno Domini in San Jose California. Also I have just lunched a line of merchandising with Andy Howell´s Artsprojket. Everyone should have access to art.
Edition One Hundred is curated, limited edition art available in editions of 100, priced at $100.00. Prints are hand-signed and numbered by the artists in a size and/or print exclusive to Edition One Hundred. More here.