Sterling Wells

Wrestling Frogs in the Arroyo Seco Spreading Grounds, 2020
Monitors, DVD players, water, kitty litter, found objects.

Artist Statement
Water holds the contradictions I am interested in between symbolism and physical reality. We use water as a symbol for refreshment, fluidity, and the ability to flow through any obstruction, but water is a scarce and increasingly commodified resource. Water is not only the source of life,  but was the prime mover that powered the factories in England where capitalist labor relations developed. It cools the computers that store all the information retrieved by the Internet. In California, water is being extracted and hoarded like other nonrenewable natural resources. The CEO of Nestlé does not think that access to clean water is a human right, and the current administration is attempting to re-define water to exclude intermittent streams and marshes from the Clean Water Act. But the only way out is through, and sometimes when I look through water, I feel like another world is possible.

Sterling Wells (b. 1984, New York City; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) received his BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007, received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 2017, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2018. In 2019 he was awarded an Emerging Artist Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation. He has recently exhibited at Night Gallery, LAMOA (Los Angeles Museum of Art), AWHRHWAR, Yard Pedro, and Vernon Gardens.