Publication Date: October 2009
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Over the course of 40 years, New York-based Pop painter John Wesley has created a singular body of work with a cast of characters including Dagwood Bumstead, birds and bears all rendered in the same flat sky blue, flesh beige and candy pink palette. Employing a comic strip style and a compositional rigor, Wesley makes warm, sexy paintings with a frequent twist of the bizarre. "When post-global-warming anthropologists begin paddling through the streets of Manhattan in search of visible evidence that this republic was... the cosmopolitan democracy that it purported to be," writes Dave Hickey of this work, "one can only hope that the earnest scientists will stumble across a trove of Wesley's paintings in some tenth-floor loft. If they do, they will almost immediately begin to think better of us. They will think, Hey! These weren't such bad dudes! How could they be? They were cool, generous, and urbane; they encouraged high spirits and valued sex enough to make it elegant and funny."