paintings of Billy Dee Williams explore the architecture of dreams
and emotions, the mysterious qualities of the human experience
that move in subtle currents under the surface of everyday life.
He depicts an "abstraction of reality" - images rendered
in a figurative style that bridge the visible world of the here
and now with the invisible terrain of feelings and imagination.
His large-scale works brim with a tension of movement that is
achieved through the use of dramatic perspective and a cinematically
inspired flair of nuance. Billy Dee Williams palette - cool, misty,
and luminous - underscores the dreamy ambience of his compositions.
Dee Williams grew up in Harlem with a family that actively encouraged
his artistic abilities and fostered an enthusiasm for all forms
of cultural expression. He began drawing at an early age and won
scholarships to the National Academy of Fine Arts and Design in
New York. There he studied classical principles of painting. Ironically,
it was the need to earn money to buy paints and canvas that brought
Williams his extensive credits in both television and film. In
1988, he renewed his enthusiasm for painting during an acting
appearance in New York. Since 1991, he has had numerous solo art
exhibitions across America, and has donated paintings to the National
Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and The Schomburg Museum in
New York. Williams calls his paintings abstract reality to express
the underlying principles behind them. He draws his subjects from
life: people he has met, situations he has lived, and sometimes
characters he doesn't know, but whose idiosyncratic appearance
or behavior has caught his eye.
Billy Dee developed his talent in acting despite the objections
of his art teacher, which had first been evidenced, through his
Broadway debut in "The Fireband of Florence" at the
age of seven. For many years, his life was dominated by the performing
arts, and he achieved star status in film, theater and television.
He is well remembered for his suave, romantic roles in Lady Sings
The Blues and Mahogany; his greedy record baron on television's
Dynasty, and his Emmy nominated role as Gayle Sayers in the telefilm
Brian Song. A generation Of young people know him as the heroic
Lando Calrission of Star Wars and equally popular sequels. His
return to New York stage with Fences in 1988 provided an opportunity
for Billy Dee to go back to his home and the center of the art
scene, and awakened the painter in him. He went back to California
with a new enthusiasm and a wealth of ideas for his original means
of artistic expression, completing 120 works within two years.
Although he has worked in oils, Billy Dee's current preference
is for acrylics, which he applies to the canvas by both airbrush
and paintbrush. His interest in Eastern philosophy characterizes
his images, first to record the physical reality, and then to
uncover through the application of light, color and perspective.
He cites Edward Hopper, Escher, the Dutch Master, Frida Kahlo,
Tamara de Lempicka, Thomas Hart Benton, and the exciting, vibrant
forms of African art as some of his strongest influences.
Limited Edition Serigraphs
25" x 30"
27" x 27"
|Please contact the gallery for information about pricing or to see more artwork by Billy Dee Williams.
38" x 28"