Willard Wigan, micro-sculptor, micro-talent

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Henry VIII, Willard Wigan

(Source: Willard-Wigan.com)

I recently came across Willard Wigan, a sculptor from the UK who achieved international acclaim through building some of the smallest works of art in world. He is short-listed for admission into the Order of the British Empire, and the entirety of his remaining ouvre has been purchased by tennis player-cum-art collector David Lloyd for a total of 22.5 million US dollars.

I wish Mr. Wigan the best, and respect his success, but in the end I think we all agree that he sucks.

The first indicator of his lack of talent is that this “purchase” was executed without particular prices defined for each work — Snow White and the Seven Dwarves wasn’t valued any higher or lower than Henry VIII and his wives. The collection was simply valued and sold at about US$321,600 per sculpture.

It follows that any Willard Wigan sculpture is as valuable as any other. And what follows from this is that they really only have one quality: their tiny-ness.

Looking at the pictures on his website, what first came to my attention was that Mr. Wigan’s work seems crude and childish. His Statue of Liberty is lopsided and appears ill or, at best, tired. His Thinker bears absolutely no resemblance to its inspiration. Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston look barely human, seeming more like lacquered insects losing an awkward fight against gravity.

In summary, Wigan’s sculptures are not visually appealing in any way, have no inherent value or meaning, and have only attracted attention because they are very small. Monks (Buddhist? I’m not sure) have been inscribing religious texts on grains of rice for millennia, and have reaped little to no reward save for a Travel Channel blurb and personal satisfaction. Mr. Wigan has become a millionaire by exploiting a skill that most people could master given a summer’s worth of work, and on top of this he flaunts his ability to lower his heart-rate through meditation before working. I believe the only thing he has lowered is his dignity.

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7 Responses to “Willard Wigan, micro-sculptor, micro-talent”

  1. Blair Says:

    “Mr. Wigan has become a millionaire by exploiting a skill that most people could master given a summer’s worth of work,”

    Ridiculous. Absolute nonsense. Do you really think that just anyone could sculpt a .5 millimeter wide statue of liberty? Three months of non-stop trainig wouldn’t do squat. The reason Wigard had achieved such regard is simply because his talent is extremely (extremely) rare. Theres nobody else like him. His talent is mind-boggling not because each statue has a profound meaning, but because it is the work of a genius with peerless, unique talent.

    Yes, Buddhist monks can write on grains of rice. So can the person who has a stand at the Six Flags where you can have your name on a grain of rice, placed in a bottle, and tied to a polyester string and draped on your neck the rest of the day as a cheap necklace. This is obviously different. He isn’t painting letters on rice. He’s sculpting statues within the limits of the heads of pins and painting them with wings of houseflies.

  2. Joem Says:

    Ali was one of the greatest boxing stars of all time. He dominated his opponents in impressive fashion. He has transcended the sport of boxing.

  3. vicky Says:

    Honestly, you wouldn’t say that if you’d ever seen his stuff in real life. It is extraordinary and beautiful and defies belief. The man is a genius – and these works are an amazing achievement.

  4. grace Says:

    hmmm id like to see you do some .5 mm statues with such detail as he does.. and for your information Willard Wigan actually suffers from a disability and has to wait between heartbeats so that his hand is steady………. sooooo you still think his work sucks???

  5. kaputsnaya Says:

    omg he is amazing! how does he do the sculptures so small!! woooow….. hes talented… HAHAHAHAHA..

  6. Christine Says:

    What an ignorant, jaded, arrogant, insensitive, no-talent-seeing coward you are to say such tings about this AWE INSPIRING artist! The nerve of you. Let’s see you master what he does; you say it could be learned in a summer? You couldn’t do it if you had the rest of your pin head life to try! Look, Dummy, don’t put somebody else’s ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE WORK down just because you are too small headed and closed minded to appreciate it. What a fool you are. So sad that you can’t appreciate the wonder of his work.
    For people like you there are no miracles because you close your eyes to them and are too small and immature to really see the beauty that is right before your eyes.

  7. Bratofsky Says:

    Bahh! I know many kids who can do that in Seberia where I lived. I needs patience and time that’s all.

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