Today we’d like to introduce you to Todd Williamson.
Todd, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I moved to LA in the fall of 1989 from Nashville, not long after graduating from Belmont University, where I studied the arts and music. Coming from a small (very small) town in Alabama, being a full-time artist never really crossed my mind. I love to paint and as time went on I painted more and more and bigger and better collectors bought my work. Eventually, I decided that it was time to jump off the cliff and dedicate myself full-time to my love of art! Since then, I have shown in over 100 exhibitions worldwide! My mom still tells me I should teach guitar lessons to make extra money! lol.
I had a crazy year in 2019! I won the Prize for Creativity from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, making me only the 3rd artist to do so. My project “Processional” was selected as 1 of 20 official exhibitions at the 58th Venice Biennale and I had my first solo museum show, “California Dreamin’ an uncertain paradise” at the MAC Museum in Singen Germany. It was an insane time in my life and I met the most amazing people as I traveled around the world. 2020 was set up to follow up on all of this and I had shows scheduled at the Georges Berges Gallery NY, the Museo Villa Seiz Germany, Bege Gallery Ulm Germany and several others, all of which were canceled or postponed till the immediate future!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The arts are never a smooth road. All the art fields are challenging and come with their own dis-functions. It can take years to learn how to navigate the murk that exists around the actual business side of art and also just dealing with daily things like storing works, galleries, shipping logistics, making time to take care of yourself. Now, artists do more and more of their press and marketing so the business side has only grown more complex.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
I am an abstract painter with over 100 exhibitions worldwide under my belt. I often collaborate with a composer who is a distinguished Professor of Music at the UNC School of the Arts, Greg Walter, who creates music for my shows that expresses the emotions visible in the paintings. Music has an ability to tell a story or create emotion without needing an explanation so together with the art, you get a full emotional experience. There are several things that I am very grateful for over the years!
Working with the Pollock Krasner Foundation (Jackson Pollock) on the Venice Biennale was an amazing experience and winning the Prize for Creativity was a complete surprise! It is by nomination only and I had no idea I was in the running till they called and told me I had won!
The Venice show, Processional, was about the power of social media and the Modern Apostles that have come from it. Oprah, Elon, Alexandra Ocasia, Pope Francis, Kylie Jenner, Trump. It was not a political statement but called out the power that each of these people holds in a tweet. I was asked to do a commissioned work for the Pio Monte della Misericordia Foundation in Naples, Italy (through Art 1307) in 2015. I thought the work would be presented and hung in some backroom so you can imagine my surprise when my work was sited with their Caravaggio in the main auditorium! My mom told me she hoped he (Caravaggio) was happy with my work! Haha! So do I!
At the end of 2019 and into 2020, I created a museum show called “California Dreamin’ an uncertain paradise” for the Mac Museum Art & Cars. The show was very interesting. Once I created the idea behind the show, which was a statement on money, power, and influence and who we cede power to as a society today, the museum’s curator brought in historically significant automobiles to go with the show. It was such a fun idea! My only request was to sit in each of the cars so I could have a photo!
I am doing a two-artist show with Christina Craemer at Wonzimer Gallery, 621 s. Olive Street, LA, CA opening November 1, 2020! Check the gallery website for details!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I was in a rock band from the time I was 13! A bunch of kids doing rock covers and touring around playing proms, and business gatherings! We had such a great time! My dad was the band manager and ran sound (he did go partially deaf later) and it was such a bonding time for us, and his way of making sure we stayed out of trouble!
We had a big rehearsal studio on the back of our property so the guys basically lived at my house most of the time. I hadn’t played my guitar in over 25 years and then the covid lockdown happened. I picked it up! I play every day when I get home now.
- Imago Gallery Palm Desert, CA ph. 760.776.9890 http://www.imagogalleries.com/
- Wonzimer Gallery LA CA ph.31.0 462 2314 https://www.wonzimer.com/
- Georges Berges Gallery NY/Berlin ph.212 475.4524 https://www.bergesgallery.com/
- Premium Modern Art Germany/Mallorca ph.+49 7131 3906350 https://www.premium-modern-art.com/, https://www.toddwilliamson.com/
- Address: 709 Westbourne Drive, West Hollywood CA 90069
- Website: www.ToddWilliamson.com
- Phone: 323.788.0782
- Email: Todd@ToddWilliamson.com
- Instagram: @Todd_Williamson_art
- Facebook: ToddWilliamsonartist