The paintings and drawings of Brian Willard merge an Old World aesthetic with progressive narratives and explorations of self-possession.  Drawing upon inspirations ranging from the refinement of Vermeer oil paintings, poised compositions of fashion photography, and the identity explorations of Cindy Sherman, his paintings give vision to the varied levels of identity.  In the trappings of classical oil paintings, Willard’s work catches the audience through traditional compositions and dark, romantic color schemes, and unsettling juxtaposition; his paintings pervert the convention through challenging iconography, dramatic settings, and androgynous figures while remaining visually accessible.

Between carefully drafted narrative compositions reminiscent of Velázquez and detailed studies of figure articulation, Brian Willard’s art directly addresses the viewer in efforts to create dialogue surrounding human relationships and society’s constructions of gender and identity.

Brian Willard began studying landscape painting under the instruction of master Lake Forest artist, Jacqui Blatchford.  At Columbia College Chicago Willard received his BFA, concentrating in Painting with a Minor in Fiction Writing with instruction from painters Anna Kunz and Scott Anderson.  In 2008 Brian studied painting and bookmaking at the Italian International Institute, Lorenzo de’ Medici.  Brian Willard has also studied classical portrait painting with Linda Kollacks.  

Willard has pieces in the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection at the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago’s Permanent Collection of Art.

Willard is a contributor to the Chicago Arts Archive:

Sixty Inches From Center


About  the  Artist

Copyright Brian Willard 2012