Art exhibit review: UCLA alumnus Richard Wyatt Jr. uses art to encapsulate emotion and resilience
David Egan | January 18, 2022
Just in time for the new year, UCLA alumnus Richard Wyatt Jr.’s latest drawings are surprising pictures of hope and healing.
The eight charcoal, graphite and pencil on paper drawings in “Loss, Healing & Restoration” are placed inside and outside the second of three rooms at Steve Turner gallery in West Hollywood. The show is intimate — Wyatt delicately renders portraits of family, himself and Kobe Bryant, as well as two drawings that reference St. Paul the Apostle. In “Loss, Healing & Restoration,” the artist draws the emotional gamut of pain and recovery, offering an ode to resilience.
Considering his oeuvre of iconic public works, it is hard to picture Wyatt as an undergraduate art student at UCLA in 1978 – that he walked through the Sculpture Garden, studied on North Campus and was as young and zealous as current-day art students. Growing up, Wyatt studied at the Watts Towers Art Center, where he later painted a mural of Cecil Ferguson, and at age 17 he displayed work in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s “A Panorama of Black Artists” exhibition. With fifty years of practice behind him, Wyatt is at the peak of his technical abilities in “Loss, Healing & Restoration.”