Bigindicator

Herb Williams

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White Rabbit (Lucky), 2009 Crayons & Mixed Media 18.5" X 16" X 15" © Herb Wiliams
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Pink Slip, 2008 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Bull Market, 2008 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Red Head, 2007 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Yellow Dog, 2008 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Homage to Andre Serrano, 2007 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Homage to Jasper Johns, 2007 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Man in Black, 2007 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Blue Tick Hound, 2007 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Silverware, 2008 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Bitch Bag (White Chanel Poodle), 2009 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Bitch Bag (Red Gucci Chihuahua), 2009 Crayons and Mixed Media © Herb Williams
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Quick Facts
Birthplace
Montgomery, AL
Birth year
1973
Lives in
Nashville, TN
Works in
Nashville, TN
Schools
Birmingham-Southern College, 1996, B.F.A. Sculpture
Representing galleries
NY. The Rymer Gallery, Nashville, TN, RARE Gallery, CHELSEA
Tags
contemporary, Fine, Art, assemblage, irony, mixed-media, installation, conceptual, sculpture
Statement

Artist Statement

Crayons are a gateway drug.  To most adults, the sight and smell of crayons produce specific memories of childhood. The twist in the road to nostalgia is the creation of a new object, from a medium in which it was not intended.  This element of unexpected interaction and play had me at hello.

 I am one of the only independent buyers in the world who maintains an account with Crayola.  Because I am in pursuit of larger ideas, the playful aspect of my medium is integral to the works of art I’m creating. I can subversively insert a concept that may bloom well after the initial recognition of the form as a familiar children’s implement. To create my work I need to produce sculpture on a grand scale (which takes thousands and thousands of crayons), so I order each color individually packed (3000 to a case) and cut the sticks down to the length I need.  I then bond the paper—not the wax—to a form I have carved or cast, completely enveloping the form.

I am interested in identifying iconic objects that society perceives to fit one role and then reintroducing them in different subtexts. Intriguing questions arise when an object associated with childhood, such as a crayon, is used to address issues dealing with more adult matters, such as sexuality, religion, and social hierarchy. The sculptures are childlike in their curious approach to the object as icon, but beguiling and satisfying to me in the use of pure color as form.  Larger room installations also add the element of playing to the olfactory sense, as the scent of the wax completely saturates the environment.  I hope that this body of work is my most successful in adding to the greater visual dialogue of original art.  My intent is to continue to seriously create art that looks at itself unseriously.

Some of my influences are H.C. Westermann, Fiona Rae, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, Cai Guo-Qiang, Sandy Skoglund, Liza Lou, David Mach, Charles Ray, René Magritte, El Anutsui, Marcel Duchamp, Claes Oldenburg, Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Robert Rauschenburg, Tim Hawkinson, Martin Wohrl, Tara Donovan, Banksy, and Ai Weiwei.