Born in 1970 in Lexington, Kentucky USA
Lives and Works in Los Angeles
Brian Wills is the kind of artist we do like at be-Art. Although he was successful as an engineer he realized his life was not consistent with that which he had dreamed so he took the plunge into what he always liked, to be an artist. To reach that goal he didn’t take the easiest path because he chose a constrain technique which is to wrap thread around panels. Within the rigorous of that constrain he finds limitless possibilities of colors, backgrounds, composition, size and format. The result is astonishing. BCh
Warning: Like for painting on canvas the Internet gives just a partial idea of the art.
Brian Wills Interview by Beatrice Chassepot
BCh: Could you explain your technique for our readers who don’t see pretty well on the Internet
Brian Wills: The technique involves the wrapping of thread around the panel. There are thousands of individual threads wrapped together to create one individual field of color. Those composited together create not only color comparisons, but also build up texture on the surface of the painting. That, combined with painted back grounds, creates layers of texture, motion, color, and depth.
BCh: You’re 100% American and your work looks like the one I saw in Switzerland: ultra minimalist. Where does it come from?
Brian Wills: There is a certain need for order in my work. I try to combine many different elements into a single work without their individual presence being obvious. That is, I hope the layers of the materials reveal themselves slowly. With this in mind, I believe there is an inherent singularity to surfaces. Minimal in both concept and aesthetic.
BCh: You have a singular career path, can you tell us
Brian Wills: I don’t come from a traditional art background. I studied law and English on a graduate level before making art full-time. With that said, I love the path that I have taken. My studies inform the art that I make and how I make it. I’ve enjoyed the discoveries that I have had to make on my own.
BCh: One day you told me you found something in art you never found before. What is it?
Brian Wills: There is an element of the unknown in art. Without sounding too mysterious, I like the unanswerable questions that good art ask of you. At the same time, I find an incredible sense of completion in making art. The cognitive dissonance is nice.
BCh: Tell us about your relation with time.
Brian Wills: The most obvious relation I have with time is the fact that it takes so much “time” to create the work. I try hard to make things that may appear manufactured (from afar) just by the sheer element that you would not think that a person could or would make sometime so intricate by hand. I hope that it draws the viewer into the work. The thousands of threads, or strokes, or marks that may exist in a work also marks the passing of time. It almost makes them seem ancient.
BCh: To which artist do you feel related to?
Brian Wills: Robert Irwin, James Turrell, John McLaughlin, Gene Davis, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, and Brice Marden among others are all artist that I love and have influenced the way I make art. I very much relate to their technique, form, beauty, and wisdom.