Adam Wilson (b. 1971, US) is an emerging painter and conceptual artist. His interdisciplinary work (oil painting, multi-media, video, performance, drawing, photo appropriation, sculpture, and proposed public art) addresses issues of power, norms, irrationality, identity, and law. The art started in 2014 at age 42. It comes from his diagnosis of bipolar 1 — after a decade in secrecy and shame, he suddenly hit rock bottom and lost almost everything, including his life, during an acute mania followed by a severe depression, suicidal ideations, and a co-occurring disorder (alcohol self-medication). In recovery, when his psychiatrist adjusted his medications, this art started pouring out.
In addition to his art practice, Wilson now also maintains an art law practice, helping other emerging artists with their basic legal needs. He is a Stanford lawyer who clerked for a federal appellate judge in Philadelphia and practiced at leading international law firms based in Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Along with helping fellow emerging artists, he provides support to those who also have bipolar, and he is also a public speaker about mental illness stigma and issues of mental health policy.
He has no art degree and no art training; he self-studies art history. His text works are influenced by Wool, Kruger, Holzer, Ruscha, Baldessari, Prince, Nauman, Johns, Twombly, Rauschenberg, LeWitt, Kusama, and more; his performance works are influenced by Abramovic, Hsieh, Ono, Kasper, and others. His studio is the hallway of his tiny flat, in the arts district of Portland Maine, near the Portland Museum of Art. In 2019 he was elected to the Board of Trustees of The Institute for Doctoral Studies In The Visual Arts, idsva.edu, a PhD program for artists and creative scholars with residencies around the world.
I make what comes into my mind. I have to, it's my only defense. This is how I survive what I see and hear around me, what I feel about it, what I think about it. I need to make it, I can’t ignore what is going on, it affects me too much, I can’t leave it alone. I'm no longer scared that it all comes fast in natural half-manic highs. I work hard to keep up and learn fast — my voice is becoming my own, and I get glimpses of where it could go. I'm not for everyone, but if I'm your fix, you might not find me anywhere else. I'm going to make an experimental narrative, a cohesive record, the rest of my life, and it will be beholden to no one. I will work hard to stay true to what comes into my mind.
No art education or training; self-taught. Sculpted and painted sporadically during 20s and 30s; an unexpected explosion of painting and conceptual art starting at age 42, in 2014, when psychiatric medicines where changed. J.D., Stanford Law School, B.A., University of Pennsylvania.
Reach me at (207) 699-9957 cell or email@example.com. I love working with my collectors and I want you to be absolutely thrilled.