figures are trapped in an image

I envision scenes as a blend of the real, surreal, and virtual overlaid with an inner commentary and bound up by contemporary social conventions. In every sense, the figures are trapped in an image. They are confined to the scene in appearance, thought, behavior. My work attempts to expose the restraints, repetitions, acquiescence to social norms, acceptance of convention, and dissolution of original expression.

Although my paintings, actors, and sets are painted by hand, they are intimately informed by a digital aesthetic and often attempt to hide evidence of the painter’s touch. This juxtaposition, or tension between the hand imitating the digital through familiar settings, strikes a chord within the viewer that persuades them to reexamine how they fit into their own realities.

Please find below an excerpt from a literal facet of my work:

We sit at my kitchen table. A fluorescent lens flare hangs as a chandelier between me, Josh, and Josh. I laugh, but only hear my jokes. We consume the blonde soup and drink champagne out of jars. Flies made of pearls buzz in my ear. Josh and Josh hold the 34 double A bowls tighter as they slurp the blonde hair. I pretend they are funny. Really, really funny. When they are finished they leave. I lock the door, sit on my massage rug and watch skin on a screen. The flesh hues and oriental tattoos grow back into my skin.

Rives Wiley, born in 1990, is a painter and video maker working in Washington DC.  She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2013. She recently attended Vermont Studio Center, was featured in Maake Magazine, and became a Hamiltonian fellow.  Her work has been exhibited in group shows in DC and Rhode Island, and she will have her first solo show at the Hillyer Art Space in October 2016.