As a young adult, Kelly Wallace suffered a traumatic event that led him to develop his current artistic style. Following a serious bicycle accident in 1994, he completely lost the use of his right arm for three years. During this period, Wallace had a single goal: to draw anything and everything he could in order to regain control over his body and his practice. In his intricate compositions, the artist aims to capture the universal beauty of the landscape while also acknowledging the manmade world’s decline and imminent potential for collapse. Unlike the softer graphite favored by many of his peers, he employs lead, which is the hardest material he can find and can easily shred paper. Wallace draws in a cadence of vertical strokes, beginning at the top left corner of the paper and methodically working up and down in the form of a sine wave. The almost sculptural results of this process draw the viewer into a world of renewal and decay. The artist believes that the experience of creating and looking at art should be slow, methodical, and restrained. Wallace’s dedication to his craft is evident in works such as Medium Rare—a hauntingly beautiful, precisely constructed image.
Label from Drawing: The Beginning of Everything, July 8–October 15, 2017