The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, May 27, 2018

Inspiration through Incarceration: The Voice & Vision of Corey Dean Wagner
"I choose to describe my style as a paleontologist. As one may carefully fan the earth’s surface with a small dusting brush to expose human artifacts below."

DENVER, CO.- There is something divine about Colorado artist Corey Dean Wagner – in the most authentic sense of the word.

Is it his philosophical and sanguine attitude about currently being incarcerated? Is it the extraordinary, highly personal task he has undertaken to elevate himself way beyond his sixth-grade education, nourishing his mind regularly with the works of Nietzsche and Martin Luther King, Jr.? Or is it the fact that Corey’s God blesses him daily with a vibrant spectrum of spiritual visions and images – as well as a delicate, talented, and obedient hand to reveal their significance? In a word…yes.

“I choose to describe my style as a paleontologist. As one may carefully fan the earth’s surface with a small dusting brush to expose human artifacts below, so do I, in a similar manner, scrape at the plate of my bleached wood with a five-point utensil to expose the illuminating miracle beneath. As a sculptor chisels away at his element (wood, ice, rock, etc.) to release the life within the restraints, so do I carefully and methodically scrape, brush, smear, and blow away at the exterior of my 100 lb. paper to reveal the life that I know exists beneath the facade. What may appear to be a blank sheet of paper — a snow-lit cardboard, a shingle — is a comfort to me. It’s the cloud that retains moisture without buckling under the weight of what it retains. It maintains its valued possession until tickled properly, bound up within its core.” – Corey Dean Wagner

His Voice
If we look at the logistic MO (modus operandi; particular style of operating) of Corey Wagner with an analytical eye we would be extremely intrigued; even compelled beyond the thresholds that retain his physical person. “I, like every other being in the world…” begins Wagner, thoughtfully and candidly, “…as well as a history book, have a past. My past is nothing to boast about. I’ve said and done things that I’m ashamed of; however I’m not quite sure if I’m repentant of my past or if it’s the fact that I’ve been apprehended and sanctioned that makes me remorseful. I do know that God has given me beauty for those ashes and prosperity in the place of pain.

“By society’s standards I’m but a statistic — an utter fool who compliments the recidivism rate. I first came to prison at age 18, early 19. Before that I received a barcode — a ‘livestock number’ if you will, or a processing number at age 16. I’ve always found security…solace…within pencil and paper but I wasn’t much of an ‘artist.’ I’d doodle and draw women along with Chicano arte as a young man, mostly with the result of a raised eyebrow like that of a condescending superior. But one thing I did possess as a young man was belief. No matter how clumsy a project turned out, I was confident that I would eventually ‘get it.’ I knew that I liked the way I felt when I was in a passionate/creative state. I liked how I felt ‘free’ and safe…nobody could tell me what to do, how to draw. I was in charge. I regained my loss of power that way; drawing was, and still is, a positive outlet…a creative desire.

“I was probably about 21 when I was given a book called Unlimited Power authored by a gentleman named Anthony ‘Tony’ Robbins. My buddy at the time told me to read it – really urged me to. He told me that I’d be highly impressed. In somewhat of a pompous attitude I wondered what made Tony so profound; how he differed from the others. But I soon found out why and how. This man talked about things I’ve only felt when I was alone with my pencil. There was an immediate connection. He spoke of things like neuro-linguistic programming, self-fulfilling prophecies, body language and communication as a whole, how to break habits and how to escalate to your desired level of excellence. Even though I was reading a book with millions of prints published, I felt this man was speaking directly to me. Freud didn’t think like that; neither did Masters or Johnson. Robbins talked of having the best, being the best…and that everything you need is right on your own shoulders.

“About that point in my life my work began to elevate. Although I had the desire I didn’t have the patience. Years went by and tragedy struck — I ended up with more (prison) time than I could pronounce. What I had feared most had come upon me — life plus 32 years…18 years of mandatory parole to cap that, and $20K in restitution and victims’ fees. It’s kind of hard to weasel out of that…

“My mind was a mess, I felt on the verge of snapping. Indeed, ‘a mind is a terrible thing to waste.’ At life’s bottom, mourning the loss of my life, not those of whom I affected, I felt hollow…shallow…like a zombie. Being locked up all my life wasn’t anything new, but definitely more severe. I had been to the pen (penitentiary) twice — this was looking like it was going to be my third and final time. I was done! Like pages out of the Bible my reality was this Jesus who was betrayed and scorned by mankind. I wanted to behave, to do well, live my dreams, live that unlimited power of life. I just didn’t know how. Lord Alfred Tennyson said, ‘Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.’ In that respect I didn’t know how to make this knowledge work for me. In 2006, early 2007 I eventually migrated to the Bible. I began reading things that not only awed me, but hurt and offended me. The truths within those pages at times were unbearable.

“I began drawing again, seeking that outlet and inner-peace. My mind was in shambles…deteriorating…I found my solace in the “graphite” yet again. As time progressed I began drawing for Jesus. It wasn’t about feeling good anymore; it was my obligation to convey His message to young and old alike. The best way to capture the attention of the masses was through picture. When the people were good and intrigued I’d explain the pictures to them and lead them to the Scripture I was translating. Hence the birth of my tagline: ‘Graphite Articulations — Officially Bilingual.’ Naturally my confidence began to advance with every ‘ooh’ and ‘aahh’ response! Unfortunately the law of gravity would take its toll only to leave me with the realization that…in this (prison) environment a nobody can become a somebody…

“As my stay in the County lengthens and hope of liberation becomes more and more vague with every passing week I find myself being enveloped and carefree in this Jesus and this ‘Word of God.’ I began working with the Jail’s Chaplain — one Yong Hui McDonald, a Korean woman affiliated with the United Methodist denomination, who seemed to possess a genuine love for people and hurting inmates. Eventually she befriended me and I showed her some of my art projects. She was captivated and put me to work immediately! She said that it was her duty to make me famous — and so help me God she tried hard! I had interviews with local newspapers and even papers from other states were intrigued about this ‘Wagner cat.’ I went on to make ministerial DVDs and wrote a book (Maximum Saints: Ordained By God) witnessing to the transforming power of God. (Had this occurred the first time I got imprisoned I wouldn’t have seen the second or third time). The closer I got to God the more I fell in love. The more I studied and learned about Jesus the further out of love I became with myself. I became almost disconnected from myself and my worldly concerns. I didn’t care about my life or getting liberated anymore. My only concern was (and is) being liberated of self and praising God. These walls have become my sanctuary — I’m alive in Christ.

“The Bible teaches that we must die to live…from a worldly standpoint that’s insolence, complete contradiction. As one who experiences this daily I can assure you that this is the essence of life. Only until you’ve experienced life in death can you say that you have truly lived life at its fullest. The same area of your brain that lights up when you receive money glows even brighter when you give money. How could one possibly be euphoric about giving in an economy that is plummeting and the cost of living is outrageous. God said, ‘No weapon brought against you shall prosper’ — which inspires my love and devotion to this amazing King. I was encouraged through my grief to produce ‘Amor de Rey’ — ‘Love the King’ or a more accurate, direct application…‘Love of Christ.’

His Vision
“Amor de Rey” by Corey Dean Wagner

This illustration depicts an all-faithful servant in bondage to his Lord. A servant not bound against his will or by manipulation, but by virtue that has motivated this submission. The crown medallion that hangs upon the chain signifies that bondage… chained to the Christ, bound to Jehovah. He’s around my neck. ‘Wear my laws around your neck…as not to forget them,’ as the Scripture teaches us. The character stands between two faces to depict that Christ is the center of his attention. The screaming faces take it a step further and exclaim, ‘I’m crazy about this Christ!’ The piercings and shiny watch say ‘I shine for Christ now.’ The character’s ‘GQ build’ allows others to realize its kool to be a Christian; you can still rock Dolce&Gabbana (an Italian luxury fashion house specializing in expensive fashion items) as long as God is first. Since we are joint heirs of the Kingdom it’s only fitting to be accentuated with the Crown of Life, the Mark of God! The hand gesture emphasizes the point, ‘Amor de Rey,’ which is a secular view…

“Flor” by Corey Dean Wagner
My illustration called “Flor” (an alias for ‘my Queen’) defines the softer side of man — his estrogen make-up. Though that portion may be just a fraction it is a rib and a necessity to the bodily functions. The rib cage protects our vital organs; the ribs protect the lungs and the heart. This rib (or curved side) may look like a delicate flower. The fact is, it is close to my heart — the protector and keeper there of. This “flor” comes from my side, therefore it is my equal — not less than or above. This graphite articulation is a portrait of my significant other and how it has taken so(ooo) much effort and study to captivate and cultivate her fragile, velvet petals. I liken her to a queen; she is tiny, but potent, small but radiant. Like the flowers of the earth their soul purpose, every day, is to illuminate vibrantly while reaching for the sun. Indeed, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as beautifully as she! Velvet life!

“Life” is another of my recent artistic expressions featured in my Graphite Articulations photo gallery on my Facebook page. The piece conveys madness. Though life in Christ is abundant life, it nevertheless is ‘life.’ The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. For the things I do not want to do I do — the very things I hate. The things I want to do I do not do. I want to love my neighbor; even more so, my enemies. I want to find the good in people…authority. I find myself entertaining worldly ways and convicts’ views. My substantial reality wars against my compassionate motives and desires. Only when God liberates us will we be complete…Hallelujah!

“The project in which I’m currently engaged is my ‘Angel Series’ — a collection of angel images I’m depicting in different ways, but each signifying purity; the holiness of Heavenly Beings. My Queen — upon departure from visiting me and returning to her place of residence was blessed with seeing the silhouette of your stereotypical angel within the sky…created from the clouds. Stereotypical as it may be this vision she saw alluded to God’s sovereignty…His ever-reigning presence. It brought comfort to My Queen as she endured the more than 2-hour trek from the prison in southern Colorado back to her beloved Denver area. She told me that the angel cloud appeared to linger and follow her all the way home. The Psalms tell us (91:11) ‘God commands His Angels concerning us.’

“The sum of these, and all my other artistic expressions, is an allegory to one’s walk with Christ. “Amor de Rey”…you should have no other God, including self, but God Almighty – El Shaddai. You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. ‘If you do not hate your own life you are not worthy to be my Disciples,’ saith the Lord. Jesus is the way — the life and the truth — no one gets to the Father but through the Son. He is the Bread of Life; the Living Word, the Dayspring. We’re taught that if we love Christ we will abide in Him. We love the Lord by living by His decrees. Our very life is in His Word, His direction. His Word is a lamp unto my feet. Christ is the Lilly of the Valley…the Rose of Sharon…man’s “flor.” He is our Lord — the Angel of the Lord. Should we make sense of it, Christ is our Angel in battle, our refuge, our strength in time of war, our Good Shepard. Love of the King brings forth life…a fragrance after the rain…

“God has blessed me with the hands of a masseuse; to deliberately liberate these pages that team with life. They invite hidden treasures to the surface, from the depths of these bleached diplomas that have manifested from earth’s timber — the offspring manicured lumber, smooth and blemish-free. They lie — packaged in wait of being led astray…manipulated with a five-point; the captives have been set free. Were it not for the fate of external incarceration God would have never introduced me to these certificates of purity and invited me to bring the potential within forward!” – Corey Dean Wagner

Corey Dean Wagner enjoys acclaimed recognition as a featured artist at the Chicano Humanities & Arts Council in Denver, Colorado. To learn more about Wagner and view more of his inspirational artwork visit his Graphite Articulations photo gallery showcased on his Facebook page or email

Last Week News

August 12, 2009

First Solo Museum Exhibition Devoted to the Work of John McCracken Presented in the UK

Classic and Contemporary Masterpieces on Show at the National Museum of Singapore

Celebrate Woodstock's 40th Anniversary Visiting the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Alison Cole to Join Arts Council England as its New Executive Director of Communications

MoMA's Second Annual Film Benefit Honors Innovative Filmmaker Tim Burton on November 17

Callum Innes Exhibition I Look at You Opens at Ingleby Gallery in Edinburgh

A Series of Exhibitions in Italy will Celebrate Elio Ciol's 80th Anniversary

Slick, the Contemporary Art Fair Dedicated to Uncovering New Talents, will Take Place in Paris

Dr. Steve Grafe Appointed Maryhill Museum of Art's Curator of Art

Golden Agers & Silver Surfers: Old Age and Aging in Contemporary Art at Kunsthaus Baselland

Burger Collection to Open its Quadrilogy of Exhibitions and Events in Berlin

Smithsonian Journeys Makes World Heritage Sites Easier to Visit

A Foundation to Present a Solo Exhibition of New Work by the American-born Artist Whitney McVeigh

First Major Survey of British Artist Rosalind Nashashibi to be Held at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Highlights Recent Gifts in New Exhibition

Bruce Museum Opens Exhibition of West African Gold from the Olga Hirshhorn Collection

Cantor Arts Center Announces Tracing the Past, Drawing the Future: Master Ink Painters in 20th-Century China

Hines and Royal Academy Schools Announce Photography Scholarship

Museum Visitors Get their Just Desserts as New Restaurant Opens

August 11, 2009

First Major George Grosz Exhibition in the U.S. Dedicated Exclusively to His Years in Exile

Christie's Announces Second Yves Saint Laurent Sale

Egyptian Bust in the Field Museum is Look-a-like of Singer Michael Jackson

National Gallery of Australia Announces One of the Most Exceptional Art Events Ever

Yorkshire Sculpture Park to Launch Fifth Exhibition Space with The Angel by James Lee Byars

Brazilian Museum of Sculpture to Open A Message for You, by Guy Bourdin

O'Keeffe Museum Hosts Screening of Georgia O'Keeffe Starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons

Aperture Foundation Announces New Sally Mann Book Coinciding with Gagosian Gallery Show

Batiks Collected by President Obama's Mother on View at the Textile Museum this Summer

Ancient Cultures of the Gulf of Mexico Exhibited in Leon, Guanajuato

Social Networking Meets the International Marketplace with VandM 2.0

New York Academy of Art Announces a Special Exhibition "Leipzig Calling: Twenty Years after the Iron Curtain"

Saskia Dommisse's Mindscapes to be Shown at Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam

Zoe Charlton: Imitation of a Life to Open at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts

New Contemporary Exhibition to Open at Krannert Art Museum

Archives of American Art's New Exhibition Portrays "Hard Times, 1929 - 1939"

Arts Organization, 40 North / 88 West, is Looking for a Part-time Project Coordinator

August 10, 2009

Anish Kapoor Installation Opens in October as Part of Guggenheim's 50th Anniversary

Fundació Arranz-Bravo to Open New Art Space in Barcelona

The Whitney Presents a Special Exhibition Exploring Lucinda Child's Legendary Dance

Major Exhibition of French Drawings to Open in October at the Morgan

The Portland Art Museum Reveals Shine a Light: A Night at the Museum

First Major Exhibition of Women Artists and Surrealism to be Held in Europe

Dale Chihuly Exhibition Next Year will Dazzle Audiences in Nashville

4th Biennial of the Moving Image: Film, Video and Installations in Twelve Special Venues in Mechelen

Israeli Potter Irit Abba, Winner of the Andrea F. Bronfman Prize, Exhibits at Tel Aviv Museum

Bridges and the Span of Time: Fifty Artist Survey Exhibition of Bridges of the Hudson Valley

Artist Duo Celebrate Tenth Anniversary with New Book: Media Hacking vs.Conceptual Art

Noguchi's Original Vision for the Museum Brought to Life in Reinstallation of Collection and Building Renovation

First Comprehensive Retrospective of Elizabeth Peyton's Oeuvre to be Shown in Maastricht

The Asheville Art Museum to Present Ruth Asawa: Drawing in Space

63rd Bellevue Arts Museum Artsfair Draws Large, Enthusiastic Crowds to Downtown Bellevue

Author Tackles "Gallerist" in New Edition of How to Survive & Prosper as an Artist

An Exhibition Inspired by the Artists Featured in 'Beautiful Losers'

National Institute of Anthropology and History Announces that Petroglyphs in Sinaloa are Graffiti-Free

Impressionist Treasures from Tacoma Art Museum's Permanent Collection to be Shown for First Time in Years

August 9, 2009

Damien Hirst Large Vitrine Work Unicorn to Go on Display at Tate St Ives this Autumn

Measuring 1.5 Square Meters, Smallery - Germany's Smallest Gallery, Opens to the Public

Rocco Landesman Confirmed as Tenth Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

LACMA to Present First Major Museum Showing of Indian Comics

Rice University Appoints Sarah Whiting New Architecture Dean

School of Visual Arts to Present "Milton Glaser's SVA: A Legacy of Graphic Design"

Norton Simon Museum Announces Loan of Painting by Ingres from the Frick

Unprecedented Exhibition of the Legendary Paul Steinitz at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art

Outdoor Installation by Paul Villinski Makes Its Debut at Wesleyan University's Zilkha Gallery

Global Leader Claremont Rug Co. Adds Staff, Waiting List to Meet Increased Demand for Rare Carpets

DesignPhiladelphia and Please Touch Museum Invite You to Design the Dollhouse of Your Dreams

Fine European Furniture and Decorative Arts on the Auction Block at Bonhams & Butterfields

Jeremy Deller's Procession: An Exhibition at Cornerhouse in Manchester

Powerhouse Museum Presents From Earth to the Universe: A Stunning Journey through the Depths of Space

Discovery Confirms Partial Use of Bricks in Ancient Maya Settlements

Surf's Up at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery: Jeff Clark, Doug Acton and Frank Quirarte Speak on August 22

Students "Discharge" at the Sabanci University Sakip Sabanci Museum

Dominican Photographer Tours U.S. to Get Help for Kids Back Home

August 8, 2009

Impressionist Paintings from the Durand-Ruel Collection to be Sold by Sotheby's in New York

Julien's Auctions to Offer Property from the Collection of Barbra Streisand

MoMA Acquires a Collection of Rare 19th Century Photographs and Works by Richard Avedon

Dallas Cowboys Announce Art Program for New Stadium

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Announces New Chief Curator

Art Institute of Chicago Engages Children's Creativity with "Curious Corner"

FBI Issues Report on Attempted Sale of Stolen Pablo Picasso Etching

The Morgan to Display Original Manuscripts from Madama Butterfly and La Boheme in New Exhibition

The Whitney to Present First In-Depth Look at Artist Steve Wolfe's Works on Paper

AIPAD Announces Dates for Photography Show and Addition of New Member Galleries

Brian Joiner Named 2009 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence at the Taft Museum

Roy Andersson Retrospective at MoMA to Present Short Films, Television Commercials and Features

Philbrook Museum Opens Exhibition of Woodblock Prints by German Printmaker Gustave Baumann

AD.C International Art Awarded 1st Place Winner

Guanajuato State Ceramics Exhibited in Alhondiga de Granaditas

Simon Starling's Inverted Retrograde Theme, USA on View at the Bass Museum of Art

The Kids are Alright: AGO Youth Outreach Program Celebrates 10 Years

MFAH Core Exhibition Program Presents Reduced Visibility at the Glassell School of Art

August 7, 2009

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Announces Celebrations for 75th Anniversary in 2010

Exhibition Presents a Cross Section of LACMA's Twentieth-Century Design Collection

Mid-Century Edward Ruscha Print On Offer at Bonhams & Butterfields in November

Magnificent Selection of Chinese Red Lacquerware On View at Metropolitan Museum This Summer

Gagosian Gallery to Show New Series of Paintings by British Artist Dexter Dalwood

National Portrait Gallery Opens One Life: Thomas Paine, the Radical Founding Father

"Falnama: The Book of Omens" at the Sackler Gallery This Fall

Indianapolis Museum of Art to Feature Recent Films by Josephine Meckseper

Pulse Miami Announces International List of Exhibitors

N.C. Museum of Art Temporarily Closing for Expansion in 30 Days

Smashing the Clay Ceiling: The Quiet Revolution of Japanese Women Ceramists Explored in New Crocker Exhibit

Restoration of "Virgen de la Asuncion" 17th Century Painting Continues

Gallery Unveils Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Fibre Art

Edinburgh College of Art to Open its Postgraduate Degree Show 2009

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Presents Sensate: Bodies and Design

International Center of Photography Awarded Prestigious IMLS Grant

Artist's Project Brings Together Artists, Architects, Local Residents and Workers to Investigate and Record Experiences

Multifaceted Event with a Long Tradition, the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Opens in September

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful