John Wesley in Venice

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You look at a John Wesley picture and you feel a thousand things at once. As a part of the Venice Biennale, Prada, or the Prada Foundation, is presenting a retrospective of the American pre-pop master’s vivid work (The Daily Beast has posted the online gallery). But “blockbuster” retrospectives aside, you look at a John Wesley picture, or a bunch of John Wesley pictures, and the world is a sweeter, harsher place. Wesley must dream in skin-tones. His lines always billow, his vision is extraordinary. Let’s just pray that his increasing recognition doesn’t end up in a commission for an animated vampire film.


Rumpus contributing editor Ari Messer was a frequent contributor to the San Francisco Bay Guardian from 2006-2010. Here is his web life. More from this author →