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Rose Wylie

Rose Wylie: “If it works, it works”

January 26, 2022

Ms. Wylie, looking at photos of your studio is an almost overwhelming experience — but the jumble of materials seems to inspire you. Would you say you thrive in chaos?

(Laughs) I’ve been in my studio some years, and stuff really accumulates; books, wine bottles, paintings, brushes… I’ve been wiping a brush off on the windows for years, so it looks like there’s a painting on the window, but there isn’t! Many years ago, I started working on the floor, and for me, that was very liberating. You walk on your canvases and it becomes a mess, and so do your feet. You become involved, you’re really in it — not just standing there looking at it, but really standing in the work. You can walk across it, you can work upside down, you can pour the paint directly onto the canvas and it won’t trickle off.

How did you discover that unique way of working?

I don’t plan very well, so I would often run out of space for my pieces on the wall. On the floor, you can just keep on extending. Somehow I’ve always felt like easels belonged to another time… I wanted to get away from anything to do with easels, or prepared canvases, or clean, white, primed bought canvases. I don’t stretch them, I work with them either on the floor or I just staple them on the walls, across cupboards and radiators to make more space. You can store them much more easily this way, too, and they cost less money. I think it was lack of space, lack of money, lack of everything, really, that made me do it.

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Last week’s Interview
Genesis OwusuEmerging Masters

Genesis Owusu: “I’ve always known who I am”

January 19, 2022
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Kofi, how much do you think about the future in terms of your creative process?

You know, I was very much about the whole futurism thing when my track Sideways came out in like 2017. And it was very literal back then, I was inspired by sci-fi and video games set in the future. And of course, everything I do is a culmination of what's come before me, characters like Prince and Andre 3000 who I take cues from… But now, I feel like for the most part, I’m in the present — but it's my present. I'm at a place where with everything that I'm doing, I'm trying to make it so unique to me that the time period doesn't matter. This could have happened a thousand years in the past or a thousand years in the future. It's totally in its own space, devoid of time.

Apparently it both terrifies and bores you to make music you already know you’re good at.

Yeah, I just like to keep moving. I like to keep everyone on their toes, including me. I feel like as soon as people get comfortable with me, or with a certain thing that I'm doing, then it becomes an expectation. And since childhood, I’ve always hated when people place any kind of expectation on me because I feel like with those expectations comes boundaries. If a boundary is set, and I do something outside of that, then people will be disappointed, regardless of how cool that thing might be. So I wanted to make sure that people could never safely put a boundary around me by just keeping it moving at all times.