Painting – Didier William

Didier William, is a Haitian contemporary artist and teacher who lives in Philadelphia He received his BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art and his MFA from Yale. His works combine realism with abstraction, and feature heavy pattern and bright mixes of color. Often, Williams mixes printmaking techniques with painting to create intricately detailed layers.

https://jamesfuentes.com/exhibitions/2018/curtains-stages-and-shadows-act-1

Didier William, “Sanité Belair” and “Pa fouye tet you nan afe moun yo tande,” 2018

William’s 2018 series “Curtains, Stages and Shadows: Act 1” highlights his unique style. He uses silhouettes as forms that hold a curious repeating pattern of eyes. Through these forms, William “uses the body as a formal container of psychological states” to explore race and representation (https://momus.ca/in-the-studio-with-didier-william-the-last-six-months-have-deeply-affected-my-practice-i-came-back-to-the-body/). The eyes are a recurring motif that underscores his interest in the relationship between people and art, and people with each other. The title refers to his contemplation and research into the storytelling of family history and the experiences of immigrants.

Didier William, “’Broken Skies: Te a mi’ / The Ground is Fertile,” 2019

Of his use of the human form, William says in an interview, “I prefer to think about the body as a living biological structure; a time-based symbol; a constantly fluctuating site-specific condition that is never politically or socially neutral” (https://momus.ca/in-the-studio-with-didier-william-the-last-six-months-have-deeply-affected-my-practice-i-came-back-to-the-body/)

I find William’s work to be fascinating, particularly how he finds the intersection between humanistic issues and aesthetic issues, channeling his socio-historical-political interests into his artwork. His art is eye-catching, with a message that will hold your attention.

E. Thoen

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