Author/Artist Name

Wesley HammerFollow



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Academic Level at Time of Creation


Date of Creation

Fall 12-5-2023

Artist Statement

Since a young age, my art has been a proper channel in which it allows me to express my own lived experiences by visually processing the thoughts and emotions that are made through everyday living. The process in which art is made deepens the understanding of oneself. Why I bring into existence art is why I exist. One of the most important influences to the creation of my works is the fact that I am transgender. The way in which I exist in the world as well as the relationships created are also influenced by this aspect. As I continue to transition, I continue to change. Through this change. I have to learn to accept the differences. Learning and flowing with these changes has led to oil painting becoming my main medium. Oil painting takes a long time to dry, this allows for a constant manipulation of the work. Working wet paint into wet creates fluid moments that change the piece. Even working wet into dry, such as glazing, changes the work. Creating the works that I do allows me to accept these changes and process my feelings. These feelings can be seen in the way I paint the flesh. I often use vivid colors, to exaggerate the way flesh looks. The most distinct colors I find myself coming back to is orange, red, and purple. These colors get mixed into the skin in order to create depth that is interesting to look at. With these colors, I hope to express the warmth of kindness and love that I have for these changes. Another influence to my art making is often Christianity and other religious themes. I do not consider myself to be Christian, but I was raised in a Catholic family, so those beliefs have been ones that stuck with me and still influence me today. One theme that I specifically come back to is that of what makes someone holy, and how change through suffering is what creates holiness. I use this theme to relate Christianity to being transgender. Like Christian forms of suffering aimed at sanctification , the actions I take in order to transition are aimed at changing myself to be the best version of myself, or my highest form. I find it important for me to use these themes of Christianity to explore my gender in order for others to be able to connect with my works. This is because many of us experience christianity in our day to day life, or have grown up with some aspects of it. Exploring the way others create art helps me with my own works. Two artists who have influenced what my art looks like are Egon Schiele and Jenny Saville. These two have an extreme understanding of the human body that allows for abstraction to occur. While I deepen my understanding of the figure, seeing Schiele and Saville’s works helps create that understanding. In regards to Schiele, I find myself drawn to the works where he depicts skinny figures with exaggerated bones. Along with his textured application of color, he is able to create borderline grotesque works that explore human nature as well as sexuality. In a similar way, Saville’s works also come across as graphic. Specifically, her influence in my work comes from the way she paints skin. She is able to create an accurate depiction of flesh while also abstracting it to create an overwhelming presence in her works. Exploring these influences, as well as how I approach my art making, allows me to understand myself to a deeper extent. This understanding also allows me to understand my own artwork better. Allowing myself to explore uncomfortable and often raw topics also creates the appreciation of softer aspects of life. Art helps me find myself, as well as allowing others to find me, or even find themselves.


Nicole Hand, Mike Martin


A collection of artworks done by Wesley Hammer during their time at Murray State. Most of these works are oil on canvas, depicting portraits of themselves. These works are meant to be a discussion about perception and how the body becomes an object upon observation, as well as the horror/discomfort that comes from recognizing one's body.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

ART399 Portfolio



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