Transmorphing Utopia


Transmorphing Utopia is the first major publication on the astutely absurd work of artist Paul W. Waddell. This richly illustrated book includes essays by independent curator Santiago Vernetti and celebrated author Jonathan Griffin, as well as an exclusive interview between Waddell and the artist Chelsea Coon. The texts offer generous insights into the full scope and depth of Waddell’s career across his varied mediums and disciplines. The full color reproductions bring together images from two seminal series of painting: LOOSE HEADS (paintings that look for you) and TRANSMORPHING. Vernetti’s essay, which is chock-full of his characteristically refreshing wit, deftly situates these paintings within their appropriate art historical lineage while offering amusingly perceptive interpretations. Griffin’s personal reflection untangles the various strands of Waddell’s oeuvre, and considers what artistic personas the artist adopts when addressing his audience. The interview between Coon and Waddell, two of the most engaging and exciting figures in the contemporary art scene, lays bare the impulses and influences that drive and inform their performance practices. Despite its content and contributors, this publication just barely scratches the surface of one of Southern California’s most intriguing artists, and will leave readers delightfully unquenched.

Essays contributed by Santi Vernetti and Jonathan Griffin. Interview contributed by Chelsea Coon. Editorial design by Virginia Sasser. Cover design by Anton Khodakovsky. Edited by Gabe Durham. Proofread by Christina Catherine Martinez. Works photographed by Christian Alvarez.

70 pages (color on heavy matte), hardcover (linen with stamped typography), 8 x 10 inches.

ISBN 978-1-945649-02-8

Preview Transmorphing Utopia here.

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Paul W. Waddell

artist information

Paul W. Waddell (b. 1983) lives and works in Los Angeles. He graduated in 2005 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He taught high school at the Idyllwild Arts Academy (2008-2012) Waddell has exhibited extensively throughout the United States. His most recent exhibitions include Thus Spake The Fungus, Arturo Bandini (2016), Synesthesia, Five Car Garage, Santa Monica (2016), Ponding Purple Grass, Night Gallery, LA (2012); Move In Again, Honor Fraser, LA (2013), Openly Ceremonial, Know More Games, Brooklyn (2012), Moving In, Honor Fraser, LA (2012), Grand Re-opening, Human Resources, LA (2011), I like Massachusetts..., MEME Gallery, Cambridge (2010), The life of a house cat, Waterloo Centre for the Arts, Waterloo, IA (2010). Waddell was named a fellow of the lighthouse works 2015 fellowship. Waddell's work has been written about in the LA Weekly, Artslant, Notes on Looking, A Righteous Transfer!, Time Out Boston, The Dig, Art Papers among others.