Artist Paul Wilson

Written by Dolores Tropiano Category: Arts Issue: September 2011

 

Wilson, 47, a set designer for local community theaters, creates intricate, bizarre scenes for the videos, featuring ’50s-style furniture and 10-inch-tall action figures. The result resembles a slightly sinister combination of Leave It to Beaver and The Surreal Life. In “Paul and Wee Harvey Oddball have a Cocktail Party,” Paul and Wee entertain celebs, including Cher, KISS, Dolly Parton and a hairy-chested Anderson Cooper. Wilson engineers authentic voices for the characters and records them with a Flip HD video camera.  

Wilson concedes there is some shock value to his art, but the Arcadia-area resident says his Oswald is a very separate character from the infamous sniper. “I juxtapose him with things that are cute and good, from little kittens to lollipops,” says the Arizona State University studio art grad. “It’s borderline controversial, but art should be controversial and provoking.” As Oswald himself says in “Lee, on Paul and Lee,” “It’s freaky, but then so is Paul.” 

See Wee online at ow.ly/5tlQR or at the People’s Biennial, which opens October 15 at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, 480-994-2787, smoca.org).