Gallery Opening...

Mr. Williams (the artist) and Donald, a friend of the gallery
Friday night, May 6th, marked the opening of a show called "A Look Back," featuring the art work of Michael Kelly Williams, at Canvas Paper and Stone. I was called in to help out, and I was happy to do so.  It was great to be back in the gallery where I had many of my first commercial art world experiences. On top of that, the work is amazing, and so was the company.
Averlyn, the director, and family
two artists admiring the work
Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery, is a small space located in Harlem, and is actually run out of the director's home. A few years back, I was really lucky to intern there over the summer before my senior year of college. Ever since then, the director, Averlyn, and I, have been trying to maintain contact. Which I am glad about.

The gallery featured mainly prints by the artist, Michael Williams, ranging from large to small. There was one more sculptural piece that I really liked entitled "Created for Daughters of the Dust." It looks like a three dimensional had, created with various materials like cloth.

Some of the attendees were lucky enough to hear the artist talk about the process he goes through to produce his art. He discussed and explained his various techniques such as, mono type, lithograph, gouache, amongst others.

Mr. Williams also explained, citing two specific pieces, Music and Music II, that what he was listening to at the time, really influenced his work. Like many artists tend to state, Mr. Williams said that he was trying to translate the movement and the motion of the music into his art. The images, vivacious with color and motion, illustrate quite literally music, as there are depictions of musicians with their instruments. The artist brought up the use of his Ipod, which allows him to have music at all times and further inspiration for his art.
Otto Neal (an artist) and Michael Williams
I overheard many comments and many conversations. I heard one man speaking directly to the artist about his opinions on the pieces in the show. He said "Your art is like a dream, you know." The man went further into detail, as Mr. Williams listened, attentively, nodding his head. I instantly saw what the man was talking about, the kind of dreamlike world of colors, lines and shapes. Some of the pieces of the show appeared to be abstract on first glance, ribbons of color and sinuous lines. But after further inspection, these lines and shapes, speak secrets, revealing more concrete messages and images. Some had layers of floating eyes, reminiscent of the surrealist movement, described by Andre Breton, while other of his images, were dream like scenes laid on the page in intense color, while even more still had more solid narrative and action.

Another artist, Mr. McIntosh, described Michael Williams's work as "Magic." This magic comes from diverse influences, technique and visions. Some of his works explore ancient themes and even styles. I heard Mr. Williams talking a guest about his interest and study of Egyptology and Sumerian artifacts, which is apparent in works such as "Afternoon of a Georgian Faun." The flat features and the style in its sparse lines is reminiscent of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, creating a connection with contemporary art and ancient history.

I had such a great evening, socializing and admiring the art. I found a few sites with Mr. Williams' work, such as this and this. Check it out...


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