In my journey as a person of color from Madagascar, my family and I have too often encountered the dismissive words, "You do not belong here." My vibrant art challenges misconceptions about immigrants and people of color in America. Drawing inspiration from their resilience, love, and beauty, particularly those grappling with discrimination and cultural rejection, I employ a meticulous layering of thick mixed media to create textured paintings. This distinctive process symbolizes the emotions forged in the crucible of injustice, resulting in a beautiful, uneven surface that underscores our capacity to achieve the extraordinary despite trials. By portraying immigrants and people of color as hard-working, joyful, and loving individuals, I aspire to cultivate a profound appreciation for our shared humanity. My art invites viewers to transcend differences, encouraging a collective journey, hoping we come together through love and understanding.
Will Raojenina, also known as WCMTL, is a Canadian multidisciplinary visual artist who recently relocated to Los Angeles. Born to immigrant parents from Antananarivo, Madagascar, WCMTL's artistic journey began in his hometown of Montreal, Canada.
WCMTL's artistic expression takes the form of colorful mixed-media works and layered textures, a testament to his profound engagement with global themes—immigration, language barriers, cultural differences, and oral histories. Each piece is a meticulously crafted dialogue, a visual symphony that delves into deep inner feelings and speaks to the core of human connection.
The artist's childhood was marked by witnessing his father endure intense discrimination, leading to a challenging battle with mental illness. It resulted in his family's life taking a drastic turn, plunging them into deep pain and frustration. In a quest for solace and a means to channel his emotions, WCMTL turned to painting and clothing design at the tender age of 15, earning him the moniker WCMTL (Will Couture Montreal). In this creative endeavor, he formed a community of like-minded immigrant children who shared similar life experiences. This diverse collective became a melting pot of perspectives, teaching WCMTL the art of effective visual communication.
These early lessons continue to shape WCMTL's artistic philosophy—fostering a deep desire to understand others, maintaining relentless perseverance, and nurturing an appreciation for the rich tapestry of diverse cultures.
WCMTL's work has been exhibited across Canada and the United States. His work is held in private collections throughout North America, including Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and many more.