First published: Spring 2021

The sign, with wavy appliqué lettering, that hangs from the front porch of Charles Wince’s 1917 clapboard house in Flytown – a now-upscale residential neighbourhood of Columbus, Ohio – has become something of a historical marker: “WinceWorld Creating Magic in the ‘Hood Since ’88”.

There is also a polychromed rocking chair and a taxidermy deer head hung with string lights to greet visitors. The decorative woodwork, the rocker, the sign and a stylised window frame are harmonised by a Victorian pallet of green, red, and yellow. The window frame and the faux-functional fence posts below might be described as cartoonish-Rococo riffs on the porch’s spindles and columns.


WinceWorld sits on an upmarket street in Columbus, Ohio
all photos by Fred Scruton, unless otherwise stated

Born with ADHD and dyscalculia (dyslexic numerical comprehension) in 1955, Wince nearly died twice in fire incidents. Aged ten, he and a friend were playing with matches in the family garage when an assumed-to-be empty gasoline canister erupted into a fireball that severely burned and scarred his back and limbs. With burns over 75 per cent of his body, he was invalided for months.

Then, in his early twenties, he passed out while trying to smother a cabin fire, regained consciousness, and crawled out to safety.

“Flames, fires, explosions” are recurring motifs in Wince’s work: “Just something that's kind of etched into my psyche at this point.”


The bathroom walls are collaged all over and the cabinet opens to reveal a blade-shaving baby doll

This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #107

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