I got to be a kid during the 70's and 80's. I can't complain, really. Compared to a lot of other places, the U.S.A. is a pretty great place to grow up. I grew up in a very visual and instantaneous world. I watched a crap load of TV, read comic books, listened to music all the time. I remember the very first music video on MTV, my parents buying our first microwave, my first Whopper.
I loved the good parts of being a kid, never wanted to grow up. Parts of me never have. I like to have fun, and don't much like the responsibilities of being an adult. I was never any good at school or much else for that matter. I think that is why I like to paint so much. I get to just have fun, get lost in the color, no rules. It's where I feel the happiest, like I'm doing what I was meant to do. I feel like I'm the luckiest bastard in the whole world doing something I love and making a living at it.
I have never thought much more ahead than what was in front of me . This has gotten me into a lot of trouble but lets me paint without fear. Making mistakes doesn't bother me. I have done that my whole life. I have screwed up my share of paintings, but have got a lot more up that work. I don't follow rules well and try to break as many as I can when I paint. I think that is why my teachers in college didn't like me much. I wouldn't do anything the way they said and then I would come in at the end of the semester with all of these great paintings.
Ever since I can remember I have thought about art. It isn't forced at all. It just comes out of me. I can't help it. I have painted my whole life, nothing serious, just playing around. People ask how I decide on which colors to use. The truth is I don't. I just paint. I can't believe all of the stuff I have painted, because I really don't know how I do it.
How do I define my work? It's colorful. I know that, but beyond that, I want to manipulate the common and ordinary, to stand out from the crowd, for people to say, that's a Wakefield. I want my work to be art, for people to love it for what it is, not to match their couches. I don't give a damn about that. I like to tweak people's noggins, get them to look at life from a different angle.