Wes Holloway

Wes Halloway

Born and raised in Katy, Texas, a dedication and enthusiasm for the arts extends as far back as Wes Holloway can recall. His sincere devotion to drawing and painting is paralleled only by his interest in science, biology, and philosophy. However, in 2003, after one year of undergraduate work at the University of Texas at Austin, Wes broke his C5-C6 vertebrae in a diving accident, suffered a spinal cord injury and thus became paralyzed from the chest down. After a year of recovery and rehabilitation, it became apparent that he would not regain use of his legs, abdomen or hands. Even though the life Wes knew had changed forever, it did not sway him from pursuing his goals for the future. If nothing else, Wes decided that he was going to spend the rest of his life intensely engaged with his first passion, art. Therefore, Wes returned to the University of Texas, and later completed both a BA and BFA in studio art. Currently, alongside his own studio practice, Wes teaches underserved groups in the Houston Area in hopes to use art as an expressive healing tool.

​Wes’ work mostly explores the body and how society responds to the human form. In his paintings and drawings; sexuality, grotesque beauty, body ideals, vanity, and the ambiguity between pleasure and pain are all common themes. Wes references many of today’s popular media, including: magazine trimmings, Internet jpegs, medical book illustrations, and film stills. By experimenting with collage, composite layers, and superimposing images, Wes is literally able to deconstruct beauty and investigate how images interact. He often discusses memories and time, and how they inform the world around us (or our perception of that world). Masculinity, glorification of violence, growing up gay, gender norms and traversing boyhood into manhood all take on new meaning after a disability. Wes’ initial goal in his art making practice is to explore male-centric themes, but he strongly believes these topics cross social groups and speak to a universal struggle for acceptance, journey to celebrate our flaws and embrace our differences.

Read more about Wes’ fascination with the physical in GW Today’s feature, Body of Work: Student Artist Deconstructs Stereotypes.

See more of Wes’ work on his website.