Los Angeles based artist Holly Williams paints images based on photographs of the city of Los Angeles, mixing her interest in the concepts of painting with the inherent mythology of film and television. Her blurred and ambiguous settings (taken from a city known for its ability to manipulate the truth) are captured and given their own significance. Williams’ nebulous compositions create narratives for the sidewalks, corridors, balconies, and tunnels of Los Angeles. Her paintings include typical L.A. imagery such as the iconic palm trees lining the streets, light posts, and the glowing orbs of street and car lights. Occasionally, anonymous figures inhabit her settings, their actions remaining as mysterious as the space itself.
Williams transfers the photographic images into paint by using a multi-layered dry brushing technique that mimics the signature qualities of film photography. The blur effect is created through a slow buildup of paint, as oppose to the diminishing effect of dragging a brush through wet paint, for it is important to the artist that “the areas of color be built up rather than homogenized.” With the increasing malleability of digital photography, the photograph loses its authenticity and is no longer purely a source of documentation. By painting the images, Williams takes from her own experiences and creates new and unique handmade objects. Each painting then has a tangible connection to the maker, lending a certain authenticity.