Rohan Wealleans

Genre: Contemporary Art

Country of Origin: New Zealand

Rohan Wealleans was born 1977 in Invercargill, New Zealand. In 2000 he graduated with a BFA (Painting) Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland and in 2003 he gained a MFA (Painting).

Rohan Wealleans' monstrous creations morph and bleed between painting and sculpture. Their wild and unruly appearance gives the impression that the artist has grown them in a subterranean lair through a mixture of wizardry and weird science rather than having created them in a white-walled studio. Embarrassingly tactile, the gnarls, knobs and bejewelled facets that either sprout from the wall or create caverns, recesses and bulbous protrusions call up mysterious voids and a grotesque fertility. Born in Invercargill, New Zealand in 1977, Wealleans studied painting at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2002 and went on to win the Waikato Art Award in 2003. He was the winner of the 15th Annual Wallace Art Award in Auckland in 2006, and since then has exhibited regularly in New Zealand and Australia.

Wealleans layers paint on to fibreglass and polystyrene, cutting back into these architectonic layers in a technique that resembles millefiori glasswork in which the multicoloured patterns of glass rods are only viewable from their cut ends. Segments are sliced from one surface and added to another in a joyful accretion of colour and texture. His paintings can amass up to 80 layers of paint, resulting in a psychedelic, visceral, fascinating and at times repulsive surface. The titles of his works combine a love of science fiction and B-grade cinema with a metonymic sense of humour.

Pushing the limits of paint to extremes, Wealleans has even created a 2.5-metre paint ball, Planet Spore (2004), which was exhibited in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens for the 2004 Scape Biennial. Rohan was included in the 17th Biennale of Sydney in 2010, and his body of work Apocalyptic Intuition occupied City Gallery Wellington in 2012.

Source: Hamish McKay Gallery