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Interview: Wickerham & Lomax's DUOX4Odells

Interview: Wickerham & Lomax's DUOX4Odells

Lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland

Tell us about yourself, how did you become an artist?

D: It had something to do with seeing a Roy Lichtenstein painting, Look Mickey, 1961, when I was young. Two friends at the end of a pier trying to catch something big. When I was older I knew these two hairdressers that had a big influence on me. And then I went to art school and realized I’d made a huge mistake.

DUOX4Odell’s: You’ll Know If You Belong, 2017, Installation View

What is your background? and how did it inform the focus of your creative exploration or the medium you're currently working with?

D: It had something to do with being gay I'm sure. When my dad found out, he told me it was a good thing I wanted to be an artist. Being on the outside looking in might be the reason our collaborative interests are subcultures, marginality, and connectivity as a way to complicate mainstream tropes and to show how the individual functions among the group. Our backgrounds are very different. What allows us to work together probably is the compatibility of temperaments. Libra/Gemini.

Studio 2021 during the production of Quarantine Bar series (center)

What ideas interested you in the beginning of your practice, which ideas have you continued to explore, and where have they led you?

D: We’re still interested in the relationship between the individual and the group but it's not as personal as it once was. When we started we indulged ourselves to have fun. Friendship as form, the city as a medium, focus on surface were early interests.

Domestic QT and The Spatial Anomalies, 2020, Installation View

Led to digitized paintings, the triumph of feeling a work can produce and not just hold messaging. More sci-fi. I think we’re less interested in ourselves and yet have something more specific to say than we did 10 years ago. Spiraling outward to circle back over earlier territory. Intuition takes center stage. Margiela always!

Studio 2020 building frames and inserting dog bowls into shelves for arcylic sculptures for Domestic QT and The Spatial Anomalies exhibition

Who were and are the biggest sources of your inspiration?

D: The success of others, Ashley Bickerton. Fran Lebowitz who ruined my life. My internal rage. & bad design. A budget and a deadline help. And words, stories inspire the images. It is very amazing to make an artwork. It kinda makes you want to do it again.

Domestic QT and The Spatial Anomalies, 2020, Installation View

Where do you find inspiration?

D: In the collaboration. On the inside of the box of eggs that just arrived at my door. Under the lid it said, Perch, Dust Bath, Scratch, Socialize. This sums it up I think. 

First day of installation at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 2015

Is there are a single work, project, or series that is pivotal in your current trajectory?

If it's not BOY'Dega our digital work from 2012 than I'd pick DUOX4Odells: You’ll Know If You Belong, 2017.

DUOX4Odells: You’ll Know If You Belong. Installation view. 2017

Black Vulcan Sleeping Aid, 2020, Welded metal, wood, PNG printed on plexiglass, webbing, hardware, presentation fruit, ice cubes, epoxy, dog bowl, 68⅛ x 84⅛ x 15⅛ in., 173.1 x 213.7 x 38.4 cm

How did it begin? and how did it evolve?

The project was an ode to the legacy of Odell’s, the legendary nightclub that still stands today as an aberration of its former self, no longer in use and still maintaining its peculiar façade on North Avenue in Baltimore. Through our installation spanning multiple projections, personal testimonies, and free-standing sculpture, we investigate the rich history of the club’s years of occupancy from 1976–1992, an attempt at preserving and illuminating its cultural memory.

There was a sculptural/printing invention that we still use today that this project produced. It has to do with the clearness of the acrylic material we are printing on that merges well with the ideas we are interested in. Double sided and free standing images became sculptural objects in this exhibition.

Studio 2020 adding shelves to paintings during the production of Domestic QT and The Spatial Anomalies

What were important lessons in the process that you’ve carried forward with you?

D: If you could think in the complex way an exhibition does you wouldn't need to make it. Rely on your intuition; it's often the smartest version of yourself. Don’t forget to make it.

Inspecting Untitled (Mobile) 2017.

What are you working on now?

D: Making it.

Installation in progress with mobile. 2017

If you could go back in time to the very beginning of your art practice and give your younger self a single piece of advice what would it be?

D: Make an NFT everyday.

Nymph and the Net, 2020, Dye sublimation on canvas, wood, hardware, beads, artist frame, 106 x 99 x 3¾ in., 269.2 x 251.5 x 9.5 cm

About the Artist

Based in Baltimore, Maryland

Wickerham & Lomax is a queer interdisciplinary artist collaborative living and working in Baltimore, MD. Working collaboratively since graduating in 2009, they both received BFAs from Maryland Institute College of Art in Painting. Their 2012 exhibition DUOX4Larkin was featured at Artists Space in New York followed by installations/projects with Brown University, Frieze New York, The Drawing Center, and The New Museum. They are recipients of the 2015 Walter and Jane Sondheim Prize and the 2020 Trawick Prize. Their recent solo show was at VonAmmon Co. in Washington DC. Most recently they produced a print project for Artforum’s April 2021 issue.

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