First published: Spring 2011
Larry Williams’ paintings draw the viewer into a kaleidoscopic world of hope and longing. Painted by an artist who had never so much as read an art book or even had a discussion with another artist, they have a rare and radiant purity. The 21 works at his debut show, Blue Cloud Day: The Visionary Art of Larry Williams, held at Gallery Gachet in Vancouver, Canada, are filled with references both to his home in the Cariboo district of British Columbia as well as to his unique life experiences. They depict the inner visions of a man who has reached deeply into the centre of his being.
The artist’s life experiences include several years of homelessness in a town where few people have ever been homeless. This comprises three years of no personal income whatsoever, during which time Williams often slept in an abandoned car and ate what he calls ‘ketchup soup’ made from free ketchup taken from fast food outlets mixed with warm water. During these years Williams never requested social assistance; he existed outside the borders of bureaucratic and community organisations.
Larry Williams lives what can best be described as a classic hermit’s existance. Alienated and marginalised because of social, economic and health barriers, as well as his personal choice to remain what he calls ‘outside the world’, Williams has finally found for himself a life of peaceful solitude and simplicity. Fiercely private and with little need for social interaction, according to the artist his painting has become his companion. When commenting about this he says, ‘I’ve been Larry in a box, going through time’.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #72