Wes Holloway

Wes Holloway / 2019 Creative Access Fellow

Wes can recall. His sincere devotion to drawing and painting is paralleled only by an interest in science, biology, and philosophy. However, in 2003, after one year of undergraduate work at The University of Texas at Austin, Wes broke my C5-C6 vertebrae in a diving accident, suffered a spinal cord injury and thus became paralyzed from the chest down. After it became apparent he would not regain use of his legs, abdomen or hands, Wes decided he was going to spend the rest of my life intensely engaged with his first passion, Art. In 2008, he completed both a BA and BFA in studio art. Currently, alongside his own studio practice, Wes teaches underserved groups in the Houston Area in hopes to use art as an expressive healing tool.

Wes’ work mostly explores the body and how society responds to the human form. In his paintings and drawings; sexuality, grotesque beauty, body ideals, and vanity are all common themes. Wes investigates memories & time, and how they inform the world around us (or our perception of that world). Masculinity, glorification of violence, growing up gay, gender norms and traversing boyhood into manhood all take on new meaning after a disability. Even though his work often is male-centric, Wes believes these topics cross social groups and speak to a universal struggle for acceptance, journey to celebrate our flaws, and embrace our differences.