By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)
For many, Wes Borland is most well-known as the eccentric guitarist for 90′s rap-metal pioneers Limp Bizkit. Many other know him for his own industrial-rock project, Black Light Burns. However, what many may not know is that Borland’s first love isn’t any of the aforementioned projects, and it might not even be music altogether.
Borland’s often “secret” identity is an oil painter. His love for painting stems from childhood, where he mastered his crafts at the Douglas Anderson School of Arts in Jacksonville. By his teenage years, his other interests, music and guitar, proved fruitful as he joined Limp Bizkit in the mid-90′s and by the late 90′s, they were superstars.
However, Borland never silences his other creative half. Not only did he design the album art to every Limp Bizkit album he was a part of, but created a unique onstage persona that quickly became a unique attraction to the band, adding an exciting, if not confusing, visual element to the high-energy music the band was known for.
“I go onstage wearing almost nothing. I have underwear and my boots on, and I paint my whole head black, from the neck up, and I have the black contacts. All you can see is these glowing teeth,” said Borland in a 2002 interview.
By the time Borland ventured on his own with his own project, Black Light Burns, both the music and his visual artistry came to a head. The music served as the perfect companion to his beautifully bizarre and often surreal oil paintings. Borland described his work in his own third-person account:
“Wes Borland is an Oil Painter who is best known for being a rock guitarist. He is writing this Bio in third person which is awkward, but can’t find anyone else to do it. Delving into realism and surrealism, his work sometimes relies on dog penises, nudity, guns, balls, racism, and Persian rugs in order to look like it’s trying to make a statement that holds some kind of weight or significance. He never projects images to canvas in order to paint and thinks anyone who does this should have their shirts pulled over the tops of their heads while being beaten with sawed off horse legs. His music related credits are virtually endless, but he’s just now getting into the visual art world in order to hopefully have a career that involves art later on in life so he can continue to be a spoiled perpetual baby and not have to ever get a desk job. He loves to paint and kind of hopes you like his paintings, but not too much, because he realizes they aren’t going to change the world or anything. He doesn’t have any awards or credits, but most likely will think he’s a better painter than everyone else anyway, regardless of it being true or not.”
Many of Borland’s present and past paintings can be found on his website,www.theborlandgallery.com.