For over six years now Dave Wilfert has been the vision and imagination behind online design, art and culture site The World’s Best Ever. Taking his keen eye off the internet, he is now organizing his second art exhibition at NYC’s Joshua Liner Gallery. The show (opening tonight) is entitled “All Types of Characters” and features 34 artworks, all of which focus on the very nature of character. As Wilfert shares with CH, “Characters are the most relatable artistic visuals in the world, and yet none of these artists are trying to draw from real life. They are drawing from their imagination, as to what a figure or a human can look like.” The result is a selection of works that are fun, strange, playful and entirely enjoyable.
“This is about artists for the people,” Wilfert continues. “It’s a summer show, it should be fun. There must be quality, but there also has to be access. People will enter the show and find at least one piece that they’ll want to share.” Beyond his vision, it’s also Wilfert’s place in the industry that ultimately led to the show. “Josh, the gallery owner, and I have known each other for a long time. I’ve always talked to him about doing an opening. I basically have relationships with every artist here, as well. I invited the artists I was most interested in into the show and 98% of them were like, ‘Yeah!'”
The artists being showcased cross an array of media, and many straddle the line between fine and commercial art. This is something that appeals to Wilfert. There are legends from graffiti culture, talent from the skate scene and plenty of undiscovered artists and illustrators, along with works from established creators like Bill Plimpton. Wilfert wanted to include as many artists as possible, especially those who are attempting to make a larger name for themselves. The work is varied—from oil painting to photography. A stand-out, by Jeanette Hayes, hails from her De Mooning series which comedically matches Sailor Moon and the style of de Kooning. And despite the sheer diversity of works, there’s an aesthetic through-line, and a narrative one as well. This is more than independent stories of characters. It is a broad look at the way artists today perceive humanity.
“The front room is very open, and contains the bigger pieces, but the narrative experience is exciting across all the works,” Wilfert continues. “Primarily, I wanted to create something fun. The worst thing in the art world is when you like a piece of art, but you don’t end up liking the artist,” he concludes. “The great thing about this show, is that I know and like them all. I met them through research, my work or just by being out in New York City.” With that, there is also a familial element to the show. It’s exciting and colorful, yes, and carries a good story, but there’s something universally appealing, making the show quite irresistible.
“All Types of Characters” opens tonight and runs through 10 July 2015.
Images by Cool Hunting