Fire in the Sky
KIM DOUGLAS WIGGINS
|Kim Douglas Wiggins’ distinct style and modern vision of the West has made him one of the most recognizable artists in America today. He is acknowledged as one of the creative forerunners behind the current New West Movement and is one of the prominent speakers in the art industry encouraging innovation in Western art. Growing up on a ranch in southern New Mexico, at the age of twelve he was discovered by an art dealer from Scottsdale who started handling his formative work. By the mid 1970’s he was painting in oil and working as a graphic artist for a national equine magazine. In 1983 he was admitted as the youngest member of the Society of American Impressionists and exhibited alongside American masters such as Robert Daughters, Walt Gonske and Sandy Scott. Although primarily self-taught, he was mentored by masters such as Henriette Wyeth, Alexandre Hogue and William Lumpkins. During the 1980’s he experimented with various forms of Impressionism, Expressionism, Magical Realism, Symbolism and Modernism eventually leading to his distinctive approach. His uniquely modern vision of the West often places his work alongside celebrated icons of Western Realism as a powerfully, contrasting voice of creative vision.
As a modern innovator, Wiggins’ finest work merges symbolism with the American West. His provocative Western historical paintings are viewed by many as his finest work bring numerous awards and accolades. Some of his career highlights include group exhibitions with the Autry Museum’s Masters of the American West since 1999. He has also exhibited with the Briscoe Western Art Museum, Booth Western Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, National Museum of Wildlife Art, C. M. Russell Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Museum of New Mexico, De Young Museum, The Society of American Impressionists (SAI) and the Other Side of the West (OSW).
Wiggins has been a key speaker at numerous Western art events including the Autry Museum in 2020, the Briscoe Museum, the American Museum of Western Art, The New Mexico Historical Society, The Roswell Museum and Art Center and the Booth Western Art Museum to mention a few. In 2017 Wiggins was asked to assist the American Museum of Western Art in Denver with the Audio Tour Guide for the museum’s vast collection. Visitors using the audio guide now take a walk through Western art history as Wiggins and two other historical experts expound on the backgrounds of various artists and works of art within the museum’s collection. The Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles houses two of Wiggins’ major works. Other collections include the Briscoe Western Art Museum, Museum of New Mexico, American Museum of Western Art, The Anschutz Collection, Booth Western Art Museum, James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, Phippen Museum, Roswell Museum & Art Center and Tulane University. The Staples Center in Los Angeles houses a collection of ten major historical works focused on the history of California. This collection has been used as the backdrop for many backstage interviews including the Grammy Awards. Wiggins work has appeared or dawned the cover of such publications as American Psychologist, Western Art Collector, Southwest Art, Art of the West, Architectural Digest, Cowboy & Indians, Wildlife Art, Western Art & Architecture, International Artist and Elle Decor.
SELECTED AWARDS & ACCOLADES:
2020: The Stories of the West Award, Gold Medal for Best Narrative. Masters of the American West Art Exhibition & Sale, Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA. (Fleeing Hell’s Fury – Range Fire, Oil, 48×60 in).
2018: The William B. Travis Award for Patron’s Choice. Night of Artists, Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, TX. (The Texians, Oil, 30 x 40 in).
2014: The Heritage Award, for passionate innovation and contribution to the arts. New Mexico Historical Society, Roswell, NM.
2005: Jackie Autry Special Purchase. Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale, Museum of the American West, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA. (Lewis & Clark Among the Mandan, Oil, 84 x 108 in).
2000: Patron’s Choice – Most Inspiring to Youth. Painters and the American West, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO. (Merging Cultures on the Santa Fe Plaza, 60 x 84 in).
Like Van Gogh, Wiggins’ style is based on a pictorial language of heavily impastoed brushwork, bold color, and dynamic surface movement. Wiggins draws upon Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, American Regionalism, Magical Realism, Muralist and Folk Art traditions, and it is this union that makes his paintings truly unique and unexpected. – Laurie J. Rufe, Former Director of the Tucson Museum of Art.
Kim Wiggins is highly skilled as a painter: imaginative, creative and blessed with a unique style. He is one of the very few young artists who have emerged in the past decade whose paintings and appeal will have long-term staying power. – Philip F. Anschutz, American Business Icon