Cumulus Humilis | November 2020
Rob Moss Wilson is an artist based in Martinez, California. His work captures the simplest things that make you feel the best: lying on your back and finding creatures in the clouds, doing cartwheels on grass, swimming in the buff under the warm sun.
"I want people to feel good about being alive"
-Rob Moss Wilson in It's Nice That
Q & A WITH ROB MOSS WILSON
When you’re making paintings do you think about the people who are going to see them?
I think I started out just making work that I would want in my house. And I think that's still happening. Even though when you fill your house with your own paintings it’s usually kinda cheesy and you have to edit sometimes... You can’t really do that.
But when your work is good and you're enjoying what you’re doing, why not live with it?
Totally. Yeah. If you’re making work that you enjoy that’s for yourself and you enjoy doing it, it’s like you’re kind of locked in. That’s actually what you want. And I think I didn’t want to broadcast any big ideas, which I think can exhaust a piece or make it tiring. I didn’t want to leave people empty; I wanted to leave people full.
Are you making art full time now?
Yeah. I mean, I’m not doing anything else so I guess that’s the answer. But I don’t spend all my time doing it.
When people ask you what you do, what do you tell them?
I say I make paintings. And then I say that I make illustration work too, just so that they can get a more rounded picture, I think. If you just tell people you make paintings they go, “What?? How do you do that?” or, “I don’t believe you”, or whatever. So if you add something else on top of it— which is true, I do fill in the gaps with illustration, like for businesses and stuff like this... It’s so passive. I don’t have a portfolio online for people to see or anything. It’s just the instagram.
What else takes up your time? Do you ever swim in the bay nearby? Can you?
I do, but nobody else does. I have some spots... between here and Port Costa there’s some spots with little access points to the water and I’ll go there are dink around a little bit and I think it’s fine. There’s also a pool downtown and I’ll do laps....