A trip into the craft store Michael’s ended up changing the trajectory of Jamie Wineman’s career.
“I was looking for something that would pique my interest,” said Wineman, who goes by the pseudonym WolfGangGang, a tribute to his young son. “I was thinking I would maybe start building model cars or something. But I walked past the paints, and I just stopped there, and I was like, ‘Okay, this looks fun.’”
That fun has now turned into a successful career and a tribute to his sobriety, with Wineman doing exhibitions of his work in the Chicago area, and now, an exhibit back home at the Metropolitan Museum of Design Detroit.
“Neuroplasticity” is up through March 4, with MMODD partnering with Born and Raised Detroit to benefit Brainworxx, a platform program of MMODD's that gives back to mental health, a cause that Wineman is a huge advocate for.
“My mission in life right now, aside from success… is just any way I can champion mental health, addiction awareness. It's the most important thing in my life other than my family,” Wineman said.
For those who are familiar with Detroit – including the Bloomfield area – Wineman grew up there and was a lifer at Cranbrook Kingswood, where he graduated from in 2002. Wineman has taken memories from his life, his family, old relics from the city, and put them onto canvas. Such as one piece which features Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, a place he holds near and dear to his heart. Growing up where he did became a massive influence in his art.
Which all plays a large role in why doing a show like this in Detroit is a dream come true for Wineman.
“Detroit will always be my home,” he said. “It's really just snowballed into being this large function, which I need to now live up to, which is terrifying, but at the same time, I'm actually really ready for it. I'm excited to show the new pieces, which are really representative of the city of Detroit and what I've taken from it over the years. I'm really excited to debut that.”
Other influences for his work include his grandmother, who was a huge champion of the arts in Detroit, and the city itself, one he still champions even though he’s lived in Chicago the last couple of decades.
Prior to his venture into art, Wineman had a very successful career in the music industry for almost 20 years. But then, he became burnt out as the COVID-19 pandemic continued. The music industry wasn’t conducive to the life he wanted with his wife and son, either. This decision also came with a newfound sobriety for Wineman and a need for a new creative outlet that wasn’t music-related.
And once he begin painting, Wineman truly found his style after the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, which was only five minutes down the road from where they lived.
“Something really changed in me, and I think I started painting more honestly after that,” Wineman said. “Once I started painting honestly and just being my authentic self, I think that's when the success really started happening.”
Wineman said he had been told by other galleries that his work was too crazy for them, but that clearly is no longer the case. He’s currently branching into fashion and has upcoming shows in Chicago and New York.
“I’ll paint on anything,” he said.
Story: Dana Casadei