Drawing from Mind’s Visual Database: Assembling Unlikely Pairs


Artist William Nelson’s paintings revel in contradictions, offering viewers and collectors a powerful dose of serious fun. By assembling unlikely pairs, or groups of figures – such as Hollywood film icons and nostalgic comic book environments – Bill creates a unique piece of artwork containing what would not normally be considered in the same frame.

As an artist, Bill is constantly pursuing and perfecting his craft with diligence, employing a traditional medium and historical techniques to inventive and original ends. He has the magic blend of vision, passion, and commitment (read: hard work) necessary for any artist to establish, sustain, and grow a collector base.

According to gallery representation Ron Cavalier of Cavalier Galleries“Bill’s love of his work, of the process and the product, is obvious when you meet him and palpable through his paintings. His art is big and bold. It compels curiosity and conversation. Bill paints what he wants to see on the canvas, drawing from the visual database of his mind, spanning the earliest memories of his childhood to present day. Vintage comic books, 1960s-and 1970s-era cartoons, the Golden Age of Hollywood, and pop culture celebrities coexist on his picture planes in striking combinations—often funny, sometimes sexy, always intriguing.”

Each of Bill’s canvases are similarly dense with references—to people, places, movies, television, comics, art history, national landmarks, even social media. They are visual feasts, constructivist both in their creation and their interpretation, unique to the individual experiencing the work and their personal histories. Aside from the depictions of famous actors, scenes ripped from movie posters and reframed in the narratives of his paintings, Bill has a clear affinity for creating dramatic tension in his work. He is a master of setting the stage, scripting the scene, bringing disparate characters together with a finely tuned friction that makes his pictures sizzle and pop, commanding our attention much in the same way as the big screen has always captured his own.


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