The Norman Transcript

N-town Q/A

July 5, 2013

Q&A: Michael Joy Wilson combines taxidermy, rhinestones



I don’t think everyone is going to go in there and think, “Oh, this is feminist art,” but I hope it’s a positive experience and fun.

Q: What do you want your audience to get out of these pieces?

A: I always am attracted to really awkward passages in things, little odd things that make stuff real. That’s kind of like the taxidermy thing and the humor of it. There’s serious and funny — I wanted both of those things to come through. They’re for enjoyment, I guess. I want people to be happy about them. I want them to feel the fun in them. That line between reverence and irreverence.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the future?

A: Oh, I’d love to make more of these. A lot of my paints and prints also have fish and images that have to deal with women as well.

Q: What kind of advice would you give to another artist?

A: It’s really important to believe in yourself and the things that you’re interested in even if they seem weird. I wanted to be an artist and I wasn’t quite sure how to do that. I grew up out in the country and I thought moving to the city there was a way to be an artist. Whatever your life is you come across things you’re interested in and those things are the things that will make your art great, those things that mean a lot to you as an individual. That’s really, I think, where people connect to the work and know it’s from a real person.

Q: It’s kind of like the saying, “Write what you know.”

A: Yeah, I mean you’re always learning and if you keep doing it and you keep doing whatever it is — sometimes you have to just not listen to people.

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