Info

b. 1986, HK.

 The current work depicts American icons used to generate conversations about cultural values and identity. Leading ladies and men, from the bygone Hollywood studio system, are presented polished and groomed without opinion or bias. Composed with these figures are comic strip characters equally nostalgic and fashioned after those designed before computer graphic imagery and slick convention. The space between the figures is the heart of the painting. They are aware of each other yet dissociated from the intensity of the experience.   The physical spaces where the figures exist in the paintings take a back seat to the metaphysical. To varying degrees, I paint out the background or physically remove it altogether. Two of  the works, Marilyn and Charles, are large freestanding figures that can literally be animated when the viewer moves the decorative flywheel mounted on the back. The wheel moves a series of spur gears attached to the figure that results in a surprisingly organic motion. Here the background is gone and the air surrounding the figure includes the viewer, an active participant in the existence of the piece.  The inspiration for this work dates back to a show I attended at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manet and Velazquez, The French Taste For Spanish Painting. Velazquez's portrait of the king's jester Pablo de Valladolid was described by the French modernist Edouard Manet as the most astonishing piece of painting ever created. He praised the representation of air surrounding the figure and the way the background disappeared.

The current work depicts American icons used to generate conversations about cultural values and identity. Leading ladies and men, from the bygone Hollywood studio system, are presented polished and groomed without opinion or bias. Composed with these figures are comic strip characters equally nostalgic and fashioned after those designed before computer graphic imagery and slick convention. The space between the figures is the heart of the painting. They are aware of each other yet dissociated from the intensity of the experience. 

The physical spaces where the figures exist in the paintings take a back seat to the metaphysical. To varying degrees, I paint out the background or physically remove it altogether. Two of  the works, Marilyn and Charles, are large freestanding figures that can literally be animated when the viewer moves the decorative flywheel mounted on the back. The wheel moves a series of spur gears attached to the figure that results in a surprisingly organic motion. Here the background is gone and the air surrounding the figure includes the viewer, an active participant in the existence of the piece.

The inspiration for this work dates back to a show I attended at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manet and Velazquez, The French Taste For Spanish Painting. Velazquez's portrait of the king's jester Pablo de Valladolid was described by the French modernist Edouard Manet as the most astonishing piece of painting ever created. He praised the representation of air surrounding the figure and the way the background disappeared.

 
Curriculum Vitae

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

RE:formation, Gallery Madison Park, New York, NY 2018

Artists of the Premier Collection, Gordon Fine Arts Gallery, Stamford, CT 2017

Baba Yaga Eats, Fields Studio Gallery, New York, NY 2016

Together Again, Firing Circuits Artists, St. Paul’s on the Green, Norwalk, CT 2016

Close to the Edge, Katonah Museum Artists Association, Pound Ridge, NY 2015

Time and Place, The Hammond Museum, North Salem, NY 2015

Pop Up Show, Christopher Robert Gallery, Stamford, CT, 2014

Sprouting Spaces, Solo Exhibition, Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery, Stamford, CT, 2013

Faber Birren Art Show, Stamford Art Association, CT, 2012 - Prize Awarded

April Fools, The Nest Gallery, Bridgeport, CT, 2012

Condition X, SVA Westside Gallery, New York, NY, 2011

UNABASHED, The Portrait and Figure, Dacia Gallery, New York, NY, 2011

AWARDS AND HONORS

Sprouting Spaces, Harbor Point Artist in Residence, Stamford, CT, 2013 - 2014

Joyce and Bob Jones Prize, 32nd Annual Faber Birren Color Awards Show, 2012

Artist in Residence, School of Visual Arts MFA Computer Art, 2009

Artist Residency in Painting and Multimedia, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, 2009

Institute for Computers in the Arts Award, New York, NY, 1993

PUBLIC APPEARANCES

Artists Talk, St. Paul’s on the Green, Norwalk, CT 2016

MFA Computer Art Seminar, My Artistic Journey, School of Visual Arts, New York , NY, 2009

EDUCATION

School of Visual Arts, New York City, MFA Computer Art, 1993

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, BS Interdisciplinary Studies, 1984

Contact

William Nelson

bill@williamnelsonstudio.com

917.449.7080

Studio visits by appointment

Firing Circuits Studios

One Muller Ave. Norwalk, CT 06850