Love by Slade Wheeler

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Slade Wheeler

Love

2022

53.98 x 43.18 cm | 21 1/4 x 17 in

Oil on panel, basswood, and sterling silver

  • Best Trompe L'oeil ($250 Cash Award)

After visiting a gallery and seeing a 'Don't Touch' sign hanging with my trompe l'oeil paintings, I realized that there was a missed opportunity; people wanted to touch and interact with my work when their eyes were deceived by the trompe l'oeil effect. After thinking about it for a number of years, it occurred to me to add interactive elements into the framing. Things that could be held and felt, with weight and texture, and I could make the painting and the frame so important to each other that they wouldn't make much sense if they were separated. So I set out to explore the idea further...

I landed on the concept of “Love” because I knew that a piece with so many parts would be a lot of work, it would take a long time, and I would have to be patient because I wanted every element to be handcrafted. I would need to learn other art forms, like wood carving and silversmithing.

I needed a concept that would keep me excited over the long haul and exploring the symbolism of “Love”, and knowing how important the symbols are to us as people, was the idea that could carry me through.

This piece took about 3½ years from start to finish. I hope you enjoy it.