Artist Bio/ Statement

  Bio:    Born in 1970 in Cleveland, Ohio, of African American and Ashkenazi decent, and eventually diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, artist Wendy Means paints images with multidimensional meaning.  Although received scholarships to both The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), she was unable to complete her degree in Fine Art. She would later be declared permanently disabiled at  27.  After spinal surgery and a 25+ year hiatus from art, she returned to it, first by painting in acrylics and recently adding oil painting. As an emerging outsider artist over she has tackled the genre of neo surrealism (which she calls “metarealism”) which permits Wendy to paint in between realities, and within unseen elements conveying  deeper messages than language ever could. Currently residing in Jacksonville, Florida, Wendy continues to vastly improve her technique of bringing invisible realities to canvas.

      I have leaned into my own limitations as an artist living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I've transformed my workspace and tools to accommodate the physical challenges I face. Far from limiting me, these adaptations have become integral to my art, shaping both my process and my perspective. I challenge myself to think “outside the box” by starting most paintings with a square black canvas, a figural box. This challenges me to break free from the constraints of conformity.
My work frequently delves into the realm of invisible illness, exploring conditions that go unseen. With portraiture, I strive to capture both physical form and inner essence. In other works I explore my penchant for quantum elements and animism. Occurrences of three hold significance for me, symbolizing not only mind, body, and spirit, but the threshold where coincidence becomes pattern. I attempt to bring metarealism to canvas in ways language cannot, inviting viewers to look beyond the surface, and allowing them to create their own narratives with the ambiguity of my titles. Collectively my work is about the interconnection of all things.

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