Artist of the Week

Wyatt Niehaus

June 24, 2013

Wyatt Niehaus is a visual artist living and working in New York. His writing has been featured in the International Journal of Art, Culture, and Design Technologies and the Unlike Us Reader, published by the Institute of Network Cultures at Hogeschool van Amsterdam. Recent exhibitions include Color Shift at Mixed Greens, New York, Pixel Pops at Nouvel Organon, Paris, Daisychain at Antena, Chicago and a two-person exhibition with Olivia Erlanger at H. Klum Fine Art, Portland, Oregon.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I’m a visual artist based in New York. I make images, objects, and write essays. A lot of my work is concerned with the ways in which visual culture is produced disseminated in a market framework. I hope that, to a degree, my work questions some of the tacit assumptions about medium in that context, as well.

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? I work a day job at a design agency that deals with a lot of corporate clients. I’ve been really influenced by the ways that people speak about visual culture in the corporate world. Having to review, implement, and write style and brand guidelines has given me a new vantage point from which to consider much of the visual culture that I’m already addressing in my work.

How long have you lived in New York and what brought you there? I’ve lived in New York for a year. Part of what brought me to New York was a desire to engage in the contemporary art world as directly as possible. After spending college in Ohio, I felt the need to push myself more directly into a situation where I could interact with peers who are making work that I admire.

How has living in New York affected your art practice? Living in New York has put a lot of positive pressure on me to maintain a consistent practice and actively go to exhibitions and lectures. It is a constant resource and you end up feeling a bit negligent if you stay dormant for too long. The city has been very influential in that way.

Top 3 favorite or most visited websites and why? Google Reader (RIP), Wikipedia, Facebook

What artists are you interested in right now? Nina Beier, Pamela Rosenkranz, Roman Liska, Metahaven, Bernadette Corporation, Eloise Hawser, Alex Da Corte, Andrea Longacre-White, Nick van Woert, Brion Nuda Rosch, Hannah Sawtell, Ben Schumacher, Charlotte Prodger, Steve Bishop

What are you reading right now? Lately I’ve been interested in writings on Post-work and automation. Peter Frase at Jacobin had a great essay on the topic. He references some older writing by Andre Gorz, and Paul Lafargue, which also turned out to be really great.

What past trends in art do you think should never come back? I don’t know if I can think of any trends that I wish wouldn’t come back. Lots of aesthetics or methods of image making can go in and out of style and be iterated on in different historical or cultural contexts and take on completely new value. I like the idea of going back and looking at work from the past few decades and gaining new perspective on it based on how some elements are being utilized currently.

Tell us about your work process and how it develops? I try to go about my production process in a pretty calculated way. I feel most confident about the work I’m creating when it’s rooted in some research and reading that I’ve been doing. I try to maintain a practice of consistently creating new images or objects while also working on some broader, more time consuming projects.

Describe your current studio or workspace. My current studio space is pretty bare since most of my work is done on the computer—I’ve got a desk and a chair. Lots of my older work is wrapped or boxed up in the corner of the room. I’ve worked without any kind of defined space for a while so it has been an interesting challenge to figure out how my work fits into a studio context.