United States of America, 1967 – 2003
Wesley Willis grew up in Chicago in a large family. After his parents’ separation, he spent much of his childhood in foster care. In 1989 he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He began his artistic career in music, specifically in Chicago’s underground punk and rock scene in the 1990s, and was also a street artist. His drawings relentlessly represent the same theme: Chicago, its skyscrapers and its incessant traffic. The lines intersect and overlap with surprising regularity and rhythmic vibration. In addition to using bright colours and dynamic lines, Willis presents a disturbing and very real urban landscape, in which nature does not exist and the human figure is absent.