Revelations of Todd Williamson

     I was told that there was a new exhibition, “Divine Disconnect” in West Hollywood, California that I should experience. This gallery was hosting a one man show of the internationally renowned artist Todd Williamson (www.toddwilliamson.com). As I approached the address I did not find a gallery, but a contemporary chapel that welcomed the guests with large ‘stained glassed’ cathedral arched windows that reminded me of Matisse’s chapel (Saint Paul de Vence) in the Côte d’Azur of France.

      As I entered I was immediately drawn to the back of the room. There is a large arch and in it hangs a round slowly revolving painting. The verso is all mirror.  It gives a feeling of a sacristy which enshrines the ‘host’. Williamson modestly explains that the “artist merely reflects the world around him.” As the mirror turns, I became part of his art and this exhibition, which transformed me into another reality. The reflections in the glass, I found to be like Plato’s shadows at the rear of the cave.

     The space is conceptual, filled with theology and philosophy with political undertones. The ‘pews’ are bales of hay that are covered with Astroturf.  On the Westside of LA, the identity seems to be a kingdom of label hounds. Stripped down, we are all as basic as the grain that provided our last meal.

   

     The paintings on the wall are haunting and uplifting at the same time. Williamson uses gessoed straight edged lines as a part of preparation of his canvases. He then applies pigments and moves them on, in and through these lines. The dominant color was shades of blue because the artist felt that it is seems to always be associated with spirituality. The lines evoke a sense of THE WORD and bars of music. One canvas seems to have the presence of the Holy Ghost while another reminds one of an angel landing.

     There is one painting with strings suspended from the surface is waiting for you to play your own ‘hymn’. One corner is a mixed media work that includes detached pages of the Bible. It includes passages about divorce, honesty, homosexuality, prostitution, divorce, the rich etc. This work is headlined with cut out letters, forming words like a ransom note: “We are a nation that says out of many we are one” — which is a quote from President Obama.

     The final work that first invited and then shocked me is a sculpture holding votive candles.  When all the rest have burned out there is one that has an eternal flame, however it is the only candle’s glass cradle that is broken.

     On view at 8130 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, for more information and appointments to meet the artist, call Todd at 323.788.0782.

By Tony Clark

 Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

 www.affinitygalleries.com

A portrait of Tony Clark-California




Published by on July 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide, Two Sisters Bookmart. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Comments for “Revelations of Todd Williamson”

  1. Melinda E.Travis

    Your expressive and descriptive images and reflections of Williamson’s exhibit are captivating. I’m looking forward to viewing how Williamson “merely reflects the world around him.” Fascinating.

  2. William A. Emboden Ph.D.

    This article by Tony Clark on Todd Williamson embraces the subtle sophistication of this artist’s work. I believe that it is important that the writing be equal to the subject; in this instance it is. What a pleasure to read a critique that has been written without “artspeak”, so common to prefaces and essays on contemporary art.

  3. It was a pleasure having my work reviewed by Tony Clark! I found his depth of insight amazing and his keen eye highly trained! Thank you again! Todd – http://www.toddwilliamson.com

  4. Darren Cardona

    There is so much to discover in the exhibit which is truly a reflection of the artist. Not only is there the beauty on the outside, but a sincere passion about life and the human condition which lies within that one sees only with a closer more contemplative look.

  5. Nicholas Marlin

    Thank you Tony Clark for this exceptional review of Todd’s exhibition. Although I have already seen the space, reading this review makes me want to experience it again. The space is very conceptual and immediately drew me into profound thought regarding the significance of its “political undertones.” Congratulations to Todd Williamson for creating such an engaging and significant space.

  6. Tony Clark’s Todd Williamson straight forward critique encourages exploration of the subtle meaning of the work, making it accessible to the novice as well as the sophisticated art explorer. http://www.hollywoodartscouncil.org

  7. Beautiful article full of mysticism, reflecting Todd’s art in the soul mirrow of Tony Clark. http://www.larkgalleryonline.com

  8. Charlene Opunui

    I have to say that for the past few of hours, I have been hooked by the amazing posts on this website. Keep up the good work.

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