Gaugin with an Egyptian touch. Matisse’s paper-cuts in acrylic.
Scratched colour, like we used to do with wax crayons when we were children. But these are no crayons. Justin Williams applies numerous layers of colour, drawing an image and then scratching it out. A lengthy process, imbuing the works with time.
The faces of the figures are particularly interesting: immersed, self-assured, eternal. The paintings are strangely static, meditative, seemingly resting in their own sense of time.
These are characters, whether real or made up for a story is secondary. They are curiously confrontative but remain inaccessible as if their world was not to be entered. And always this smoke.
These are dynamic, deep, gentle paintings; happy, but with a somber touch. Something eery in this halted air where only the smoke seems to move.
Born in Australia with Egyptian descent, the cultures seem to fuse in Justin Williams’ paintings. Just as they did in Matisse’s odalisques. Flowers here and there, some Monet in the falling shades of green, some Henri Rousseau in the animals’s faces. Matched with the Australian coolness of the LORD GARDEN MAINTANENCE.
Oranges and snakes, pipes and water pipes, jeans and morning gowns; flowers and fish. Iconography and invention.