Wessen’s family was influential in his decision to pursue art. His father was a commercial artist, and by the age of six, Wessen was drawing, using an airbrush, and trying his hand at lettering. At an early age, he and his twin brother chose not to compete. His brother became a rocket scientist, and Wessen credits his brother’s insights as integral to his own development, as he went on to become a successful graphic designer. In 2002, Wessen went to Burning Man, a bohemian arts festival in the Nevada desert, culminating in the burning of a human effigy. It proved to be a life-changing experience for the artist. Inspired by the abundance and intensity of creative energy, Wessen created his first assemblage: an homage to the event in the form of a shrine. Wessen’s development as an artist was also informed by concepts of Eastern Mysticism, such as the inevitability of the life cycle, and Taoist contemplations of contrast and duality, which he has harnessed to heighten the sense of beauty and the passage of time in his work.
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