We had the good fortune of connecting with william downs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi william, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balance is so important when your life is crazy busy! It can be an Art form in its self! My life has several moving parts in which I balance gracefully and clumsy at times… I am a Co-Founder of a Artist run space called Day&Night Projects, I serve on Two boards of two important Art organizations The Hambidge Arts and Sciences and the Fulton County Edge Award. The work is constantly showing, I think 5 to six shows a year, I do drawing workshops at Anderson Ranch and Arrow Mont School of Arts and crafts, And I maintain a study relationship with my partner. So I am constantly Balancing everything in order to keep my life exciting and productive.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an award-winning contemporary American artist residing in Atlanta, Georgia. with a Multidisciplinary M.F.A from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art; prior, and a B.F.A in Painting and Printmaking from the Atlanta College of Art and Design. I am represented by Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta, awarded a Working Artist Project award from MOCA GA 19/20 and Artadia award 2018 Atlanta. My Drawings were selected to be in the “Art AIDS America” exhibition which toured nationally for a year headed by Rock Hushka and Johnathan Katz. Also my work was apart of another traveling exhibition called Black Pulp! Shown along side of 20 other Black American artists. My practice: mediums vary from drawing, painting, and printmaking to experimenting with installation and three-dimensional studies. The line is current notable element which I consider paradoxically fundamental and surreal based on its infinite capabilities. The work expresses truth in common forms turned ambiguous. The use of repetition distorts what one expects to be or be true. Are the forms containers or do they find themselves contained by culture? Time and certainty lose their structure when one looks at figures that reform and deform simultaneously. The work/drawings brings extensive experience of drawing the figure from life together with references to art history to create drawings that feel dreamlike and outside of time. The figures in his work defy straightforward interpretation. They are in motion, yet suspended in precise compositions reminiscent of art historical heavyweights such as Hironymous Bosch, Philp Guston, and Paul Cezanne. Androgynous, sensual, and elusive, the characters that populate. My work balances on a fine line that intersects figure study and psychological allegory. I am in pursuit of energy and adversity coexist alongside jubilation and libido.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So , I live in Atlanta, the most eatery and lush green city in the Southeast. There are plenty of outdoor places with in the city limits that would blow your mind when you see them. So everyday would start with a quick hike, there are so many trails in the city, the Belt Line is a paved trail that cuts through the city of Atlanta. Then we would hang out at my studio for a bit and then go have brunch at Thumbs up or. Then we would head over to little 5 points to get coffees at Aurora coffee. After that, Wish is one of my favorite sneaker boutiques, we’d hit Criminal Records and Wax n Fax for records and a Vintage clothing shop that right next to them. Then we would hit my favorite Antique shop called Highland Row, where the best of vintage and antiques are all under on roof and basement. Then we would hit my house for a regroup. I will go back to the studio for an hour or two to work on some stuff. Around 7pm we would head out into the night. Starting at my friends bar called 8arm for drinks and conversation. Then we would head over to the Local for Wings! The BEST Wings in the city of Atalanta! Then we would head over to Octopus Bar in East Atlanta. Octopus bar opens at 11pm so all of the night owls will be there! Then we will do it all over again the next day!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I will say that Brenda Downs,William Downs jr, Ashley Downs and Jasmine Hentschel are the main support crew. The organizations are The Hambidge Arts center, Anderson Ranch , Sandler Hudson Gallery,