Today we’d like to introduce you to Diane Williams.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My work is about my identity and the social landscape around me, particularly my predominantly immigrant and middle class neighborhood of Glassell Park in Los Angeles. Growing up in the Philippines, a country that is constantly going through tumultuous socio-political problems, I have always been engrossed in politics. I create art to be a part of a larger conversation as well as impact my community as an agent of change. To me, context is just as important as the formal aspects in art. Coming from a drawing and painting background, my emphasis of study at California State University in Long Beach, California, I see all my artworks as paintings.
We’ve been seeing a lot of politically charged art lately as a reaction to the environment where these works are created in. These are very unique times in art and culture.
Please tell us about your art.
I incorporate installations, participatory art, video and a variety of media. I use art as a call to arms, creating works that explore issues about immigrants and gender to encourage cultural and social understanding.
In my current solo show, INcongruence at Gallery 825 in West Hollywood, Ca, I created installations made out of fabric, yarn and shredded paintings. These materials have personal history, discarded or purchased from my neighborhood Thrift Shop in Glassell Park and the Fabric District in Downtown Los Angeles called Santee Alley, frequented by many lower and middle income immigrant families. I intertwined these elements into modular weavings, reminiscent of protest signs and roadside memorials operating as obstructions, confinement and disruptions. The polychromatic modules are an amalgamation of diverse textures and components. A reminder that America is clearly divided as a nation but we have more in common than we are often led to believe. Diversity is what makes this country great.
What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Being an artist is not the easiest job. Most artists I know have to work full time jobs to support themselves and their families AND still find the time to work on their craft. There is a lot of dedication, money and long hours put into developing an art career. With the decline in museum and gallery attendance and the imminent cuts to the NEA, art and culture in the US will be significantly impacted.
On a more positive note, artists are becoming resilient and changing this negative narrative. With the help of social media, artists are able to promote themselves easily and conveniently. There is a growing trend of artists creating their own opportunities. There are advocates in the Los Angeles art scene like Andi Campognone, Director of MOAH and AC Projects, Max Presneill, Director of TAM, Kristine Schomaker, Publisher of Art and Cake and many more to mention, who provide positive support for artists.
Artist collectives are also on the rise. My newest group, The Shed Collective was formed after a conversation about not having enough opportunities for artists to show their work. The Shed Collective is a group of sister galleries located in Los Angeles, Ca. These spaces are not your typical run-of-the-mill galleries. They are tiny, located in residential backyards and other spaces where we can organize multicultural art shows that are fun and unique.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Diane Williams | INcongruence
A solo show exhibition at LAAA/Gallery 825
825 North La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90069
March 17 – April 20, 2018
Opening reception: March 17, 6pm-9pm
StartUp Artfair San Francisco, Ca
Hotel De Sol
3100 Webster Street, San Francisco
April 27-April 29, 2018
Performance – Sunday, April 29
Instagram and FB: @dianewilliamsartist
- Website: www.dianewilliamsartist.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @dianewilliamsartist
- Facebook: @dianewilliamsartist
- Twitter: @diane_artist
Lydia Espinoza, Kristine Schomaker