Leading with a sea of naked portraits and intimate musings, Irene Wilde’s avant-pop artistry is irrevocably sentient. As she echoes “You are not alone in feeling,” she lends to others the same kindness she hopes to receive. The very name Irene Wilde – a surname taken from the perception of her character based on her Bipolar I diagnosis – allows her to flow between who she is authentically and what stigma dictates.
Wilde initially began pursuing a degree in architecture citing, “I want to create art you can step into.” Her ambitions were skewed, however, when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when seeking treatment from a traumatic event. These experiences left her feeling alone and invalidated; often leading her to self-isolate. Years later, Irene chose to vocalize these experiences through her art to generate those conversations on mental health, consent, and self-worth that she wished would have occurred during that time. Irene realized she no longer needed to create art you could step into - she needed to create a safe space we could go to heal.
With the creation of “The Blackest Bile'' - a body of work three parts: Melancholia (2020), Spleen (2020), and Pyrrhicae (2021) - Irene was able to communicate the realities of (re)learning to accept love from self and others despite the presence of a mental health condition or experienced trauma. She is intimate with the purpose to convey two simple truths: you are not alone in this and your experience is valid.
Wilde wrote and produced the project independently. The respective albums have been reviewed favorably in several articles including two pieces in “Divide and Conquer Music” (2020, 2021) and a review in “A&R Factory” (2021). She’s been featured on Bandcamps’ “New and Notable” (2021) and interviewed on “DeVVon’s Music Podcast” (2021). In a front page feature on the Indiana Daily Student (2021), fellow musician Millaze commented on Irene:
“Wilde’s art is proof of her ability to be raw in a way few musicians achieve. She’s bold, deep, guttural and authentic.She’s not contrived. She’s not trying to be something — she just is that. That’s rare in our industry.”
Wilde continues her story of “The Blackest Bile” through paintings depicting herself uninhibited, exposed, and with stigma abandoned. Her first solo exhibition, “Melancholy, Me”, debuted in Bloomington in January 2020. At this event, Irene invited local artists and musicians to contribute to the narrative of how we live and heal from our negative experiences; how we still have the capacity to love.
Since relocating to Seattle, Wilde has received the Artist in Residence grant at Studio 2 + U Shunpike. While pursuing a masters from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Irene aims to continue the conversation on mental health, trauma, and self-worth through her art in Washington.