Forrest Williams - Room 308

Painting is a personal vision that comes from some inner core of yourself. You can’t always explain it because sometimes even you yourself (the painter) don’t understand its meaning. The painting is like a piece of something that you spend a lifetime trying to figure out.

I can try to say some things about my work. My paintings are about men: about being a man as I see it and about relationships between men. They depict individual men, but they’re not portraits. The men inhabit a particular place, but it isn’t real. It’s an ambiguous, interior territory, where things are and are not what they seem. The paintings are staged scenarios, theatrical moments, and the men who inhabit them are the actors. The reality lies in the emotional core of this world — intensely felt but highly contained. My model Lorenzo called it “emotional purgatory.”

Although they’re a group of anonymous men, they’re at the same time self-portraits I suppose. Perhaps these are worlds of their own making — worlds with outsides and edges and unknown terrains beyond. This is the region where desire and doubt, longing and reticence, intimacy and uncertainty coexist. It speaks of absence as much as presence.


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For more information about Forrest Williams, please visit his website.