Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Mystery of Creativity: Wil Kerner’s Art

Andrea Lee Avari

I love this young’s man art. It makes me smile. With amazement I watched a video that showed how a pair of scissors gripped in 12 year old Wil’s hand transformed solid colored pieces of construction paper into emotionally expressive geometric forms. His perspective on the characters he creates may come from the TV and videos that he watches. No one is exactly certain.
If art is about communication, then Wil is letting us peek into his world of autism by creating collages of animals and people in a manner reminiscent of Picasso. In varying degrees, autistic children have been observed to have a lower toleration for eye contact and social interaction with others. Awareness of others’ emotions is generally not demonstrated in ways that are readily discernable. And yet, here is Wil immediately connecting us with the emotion of his artwork.
Wil spends his days being home-schooled by his grandmother, Susan Mooring. In occupational therapy, Wil was taught how to use scissors to cut in order to increase his fine motor skills. He grips them instead making short fast cuts on sheets of colored paper. One day his grandmother noticed the symbolism in the round heads, one or two eyes, and the expression of emotion created from the juxtaposition of the forms. Because Wil moves quickly from one collage to another, Mooring had to also move quickly to recreate his work, taking digital photos of his assemblages to keep the artwork in its original form.
Wil and his grandmother have set up booths at art shows to sell his work. Some collages have sold for as much as $1000 to benefit a charity for autism. Wil’s story and a gallery of his artwork may be seen at www.wilspapercutouts.com.

Andrea Avari is the author of "A Hit of Heaven: a soul's journey through illusion." She is currently at work on a new book about creating relationships with soul. Her website is andreaavari.com. Her blog is natteringnabobofposititivty.blogspot.com.


panther said...

Andrea, thank you very much for these. Aren't they great ?

I'm very interested that Wil is observing-whether from real life or the television-facial expressions, something autistic people often have A LOT of trouble with. If they observe them at all. My autistic son, who is 10, has SOME understanding of these things which I'm very pleased about, partly as it makes him more expressive in his turn.

It's also interesting, isn't it ? that Wil changes his pictures very quickly (necessitating photographs to record the work). I've noticed a similar thing when Daniel makes jigsaws. Once they are complete, he doesn't stand back and admire them, or wish particularly to show them to others-the pleasure seems to be completely in the PROCESS.

Andrea said...

Thanks for your comment and thanks for noting that his process is in the present moment. I couldn't figure out how to put the names on the pictures but the first one is entitled "The Rat" which some people see a possible resemblance to Donald Trump. His grandmother entitled the second as "Exclusion" as a feeling that he feels at times and the delightful third collage is entitled "Baby Blue."