Meet local artist Larry Willis, an Arizona native who is based in the East Valley that has been creating brilliant paintings for over 3 decades.
He is a self-taught artist who works mainly with acrylic paint on canvas creating artworks that blend together an eclectic mix of history focusing on art, music, and film. In his work he incorporates striking portraiture, elaborate patterns, bold lines and exotic color palettes to explore popular culture.
When asked about the inspiration behind his paintings Willis said, “Inspiration in much of my recent work is taken from popular culture, especially the transient nature of things, like fame and fashion, the personas we create in our minds about famous people we know only by the songs they sing, the parts they play and what we read in magazines.” Willis possesses great skill and an incredible style all his own, creating artwork that is accessible through his subject matter where he examines fascinating and larger than life figures that he places in a fantastic imaginary world created successfully melding together the worlds of art history, cinema, and music.
Willis has exhibited his work across the nation from California to Maine at art galleries, art centers and museums. Most recently he collaborated with French artist Gregory Bouctot Charneau in Paris not to mention he has exhibited his artwork extensively in Arizona with a staggering fourteen solo shows and has had the pleasure to participate group exhibitions at the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, the monOrchid, the Southwestern Invitational Exhibition and the Tucson Museum of Art. His artwork has been featuring in numerous local publications online and in print including Phoenix New Times, Localrevibe Magazine, YabYum Music & Arts and East Valley Magazine.
He is a gifted artist who has amassed an impressive body of work that is simply electric, offering his viewers a fantasy sprinkled with celebrities, music, history, and even a little gold! Currently he is back in his studio creating new work and he is in talks for a few exhibitions later this year, stay tuned for details. Want to learn more about Larry Willis and his work visit him online at www.larrywillisartist.com. *All images courtesy and copyright of artist Larry Willis.