Oil painter Kim Wiggins is featured on this week's episode of Beyond the Gallery. He fell in love with the history of the Southwest at a young age and is inspired by the lyrical, magical qualities of New Mexico. Kim Wiggins is from Roswell, New Mexico.
"The values, concerns and life of a society are reflected in the art of that society. In reality the artist is the soul of a society. Thus, a work of art must expand beyond the image to a timeless message that is central to both the quality and expression of the work. Throughout history the artist has sought to penetrate the surface of appearance to explore the intimate visions, passions and spirit of their cultural environment. Transcending mere technical ability, the artist must communicate with the hearts of people, places and ideas, for in the end his work alone will stand as monument to that culture."
– Kim Douglas Wiggins
The bold, brilliant and heavily impastoed paintings of Kim Douglas Wiggins (b. 1959, living in New Mexico) have been eagerly acquired by private collectors, corporations and museums for almost three decades. Yet his oeuvre continues to unfold like a time-lapse film of flowers, undulating with the same energy that he packs into each composition.
From deep roots in his native New Mexico through the influence of three years in Europe and the inspiration of Expressionism, American Regionalism and Hispanic Folk Art, Wiggins has distilled the very nectar of his environment in canvases that capture the warmth and texture of subjects that are a part of his soul. Although primarily self-taught he was encouraged to pursue his unique style through guidance and critique from regional masters Alexandre Hogue and William Lumpkins. His only formal instruction came through a master’s class at the Santa Fe Art Institute with his neighbor Henriette Wyeth. Wiggins often cites the influences of Wyeth’s husband, Peter Hurd when discussing sources of influence on his work. Much like Hurd, Wiggins is among only a handful of artists who derive their roots from the passionate terrain that has attracted so many.
"K. Douglas (Kim) Wiggins’ landscape paintings dance to deep and joyous music. The colors roll and flow with the New Mexico hills and skies. The paintings are so incomparably vigorous that they seem like those desert plants which bloom in the most adverse conditions, leading one to believe that the artist must have struggled likewise. The truth is quite the opposite: the artist’s gift has been nurtured throughout a lifetime… The artist has been steeped in the light, colors, forms and details of the New Mexico landscape from birth, unlike most of the fabled New Mexico painters past and present who came in from other parts of the world. He grew up on the family ranch near Roswell, surrounded by people who loved art."
– Author, Suzanne Deats.
In the final analysis, however, Wiggins’ images of dynamic landscapes, energized cities and animated still-lifes are highly personal, and the people and objects that occupy the fantasy land of his art are most often very much a part of his real world.
"Kim’s paintings of New Mexico and the other places he visits are his unique responses to what he sees and feels about the beauty and spirit of New Mexico’s landscape, the smog-filled city of New York, or the everyday objects of his still lifes. His expressive use of color, his provocative and rhythmical forms and his concern for composition combine to draw the viewer into his visionary works. Once there, the viewer is transported into his vision of the world as he experiences it. These paintings testify to the glories of God as much as evoke the artist’s powerful spiritual response to his subjects."
– The late Sandra D’Emilio, former curator of the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe.
Once among the youngest artists listed in Who’s Who in American Art and Who’s Who in the World, Wiggins has been the subject of feature articles in International Fine Art Collector, Focus Santa Fe, Southwest Art and has been the cover artist for American Psychologist and Wildlife Art. His work is included in the books Art and the American West, by Quarry Press; Painters and the American West, by Yale University Press; Works from the Permanent Collection, by the Booth Western Art Museum; The Trail of Painted Ponies, by Zon International Publishing Company; and the monograph K. Douglas Wiggins: A Sense of Place, A Sense of Spirit. He has also illustrated and was a contributor to the books Gathered by Grace and Grace for the Moment, by Grace Publishing; and recently illustrated the children’s book Enchanted Lands – The Mission, written by Steve & Mary Moore, published by BookSurge, LLC.
Wiggins has exhibited with the National Society of American Impressionists, St Louis, MO; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM; M. H. DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; The Other Side of the West, Desert Caballeros Museum, Wickenburg, AZ; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Masters of the American West, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA; and was honored with a one-man show at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, NM. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM; the Anschutz Collection, Denver, CO; Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA; The Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA; and many others. His work was recently included in the Painters of the American West exhibition which traveled from the Denver Art Museum to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Joslyn Art Museum, and The Art Institute of Chicago.
This episode of Beyond the Gallery is brought to you by Manitou Galleries, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and artist Kim Wiggins, based in Roswell, New Mexico. Manitou Galleries offers one of the finest collections of contemporary representational paintings, sculpture, prints, glass, and fine jewelry. Learn more about Kim Wiggins and view some of his work at www.manitougalleries.com.