Solo Artist Interview Series: Noah Williams
About the Artist:
Mixed media artist Noah Williams celebrates the power and energy of African mask-making traditions in his solo exhibit, Ancestral Callings, on view at The Art League Gallery on September 10 – October 4, 2020.
Williams’ masks are created with found materials, both organic and man-made. The artist remarked that working with items that “used to contain life,” such as cowry shells, leather, fur, animal bone, and feathers, has spiritual significance, and imbues the masks with sacred vitality.
Measuring nearly four feet high and festooned in copper wire and sapphire aluminum, Illusions has a regal presence, holding court as effortlessly as Shujaa, a mask whose immense, real-life bull horns are an exhilarating spectacle. “Being able to work with those bull horns was really exciting,” the artist commented.
Williams described himself as being “obsessed with the smallest of details,” which is demonstrated in the captivating collection of objects that adorn his sculptures: keys, bullet casings, wire, nails, aluminum cans, and fabric overlap like gleaming scales, urging the eye to linger. “I want people to feel their energy like it’s something they’ve never seen before. Something new.”
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