Imagine someone completely overwhelmed with the sudden realization that he can paint pictures and you have some idea of Wentworth Tradd’s fascination with art. Imagine someone coming to that realization at the age when other people are becoming grandparents and you have an even better idea. Now, imagine both of those things combined with an absolutely desperate need to raise cash and you have a nearly complete picture of Wentworth Tradd.
The parade of impulsive behavior, false starts, overindulgence, and pure folly that made up Wentworth Tradd’s 2004 has become a near riot of demand letters and buyer’s remorse. And there he stands, paintbrush in hand, like the stablehand coming in after a long weekend, hoping he is up to the task.
Wentworth Tradd uses recycled materials, some of them “found” near construction sites. His choice of paint colors is directly influenced by what is available on the markdown shelf at Home Depot. He paints mostly from wildlife charts and identification guides and he prefers the structured compositions he finds there. His geometric backgrounds recall heraldic shields, but also commercial trademarks and the horizontal divisions of such classical animal painters as George Stubbs or Emil Adam. Do not expect him to know this, as he has had no formal art training since junior high school.