Today we’d like to introduce you to LG Williams.
LG, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’m originally from the Ozarks. Back then, I loved crafting a bit more than bass fishing. So, after art school, I hitchhiked to Los Angeles. That decision was a no-brainer — which was good since I had little extra to spare. What I didn’t know back then was this: Every Hollywood hipster can spot poor, destitute country folk — like me — a mile away. That’s probably one reason why, after all these years, I’ve never been invited to exhibit art in Tinseltown. Another reason might be that my “story” has been anything but unique. On the contrary, it registers as irrelevant by any Southern California metric.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m accustomed to making art for myself. On the other hand, I’m always surprised when any local LA art-authority or institutional-stakeholder takes notice of something I’ve made out-of-the-blue.
For example, Los Angeles’s very own, supposedly benevolent mega-billionaire philanthropists, Mr. and Mrs. Eli and Edythe Broad — the grand, aged doyens of many of our city’s “finest” art institutions, namely, The Broad Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) — did their best in 2011, during The SubPrime Mortgage Loan Crisis, to directly halt my “art practice” because they personally didn’t approve of me practicing. “They don’t care even if it is art,” a Broad representative finally confessed. Seriously.
Only a few Los Angeles art world insiders recognized my industry and determination in conceiving and promoting the artwork through which LA’s most famous art observer and critic, Dave Hickey, would finally receive a proper literary tribute. It was spread across the globe via a 2,500 word review in The Times Literary Supplement (May 27, 2016); with an on-stage performance at The UCLA Hammer Museum in 2016 accompanied by Dr. Julia Friedman, the wonderfully erudite and charming art historian; and culminated in a product-placement appearance in HBO’s Velvet Buzzsaw (2019). Wow.
The most important artwork made by an American artist from the Vietnam era — War Room by Wally Hedrick (1928 – 2003) — recently found a home in Los Angeles with LA’s (correction: The World’s) most prominent living sculptor, not long after I pulled the artwork out of a distant, dingy animal barn and restored it. Amazing.
Recently, I nearly toppled over when I got word that the distinguished Emeritus Professor of Art History at UCLA, Dr. Donald Preziosi, included my artwork, I CAN SEE THE WHOLE ROOM, AND THERE’S NO ART IN IT! (2011), in a recent publication, Art, Religion, Amnesia (2013). Remarkable.
Many LA art collectors now own an artwork featuring the art scene’s most beautiful icons, Merry Karnowsky. Somehow I managed — as an untrained photographer — to photograph her properly, and then get the representation in the head and hands of LA’s most famous lowbrow, Shepard Fairey. Tangentially, I still remain quite amused at writing the introductory essay, under an assumed alias, to Fairy’s 2008 book/exhibition catalogue: E Pluribus Venom. Apparently, only Stephen Heller, writing in the New York Times (Dec 5, 2008), fully grasped my covert, intricate, and counter-intuitive text: “In so many ways, today, Shepard Fairey is the artist to beat, Sarah Jaye Williams writes.” Incredible.
Finally, just last winter, I published — with The LODGE in Hollywood — a full-page artwork in Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (CARLA), Issue 14 – Winter 2018. This was dedicated to the ones I love: Los Angeles and my two estranged friends (Sasha and Carl). Nice.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
As a contemptible artistic failure, I’m the last person that would ever give anyone financial or art career advice.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Inquiries and purchases can be made through Google, Artsy, and The LODGE in Hollywood. Incidentally, The Derazhne-Fridman Trust has recently amassed the largest private collection of my artworks in Southern California.
All Images Copyright © 1969-2019 LG Williams / The Estate of LG Williams™. All Rights Reserved. The Estate of LG Williams would like to thank The Derazhne-Fridman Charitable Trust for their generous support.