I once saw two women fight over a piece of art by Brian Wills at a Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) auction in Los Angeles. The high society “brawl” was between my friend RB and another lady (“other lady” hereinafter). The night was a warm summer L.A. night…the setting was MOCA’s Summer Fresh Auction in 2007. It wasn’t a pretty scene but I think the work of this Los Angeles based artist, Brian Wills, entranced both of the women so much that they felt it was well worth it to come as close to fisticuffs as one could come to fisticuffs at a distinguished art auction.
The showdown took place in front of an oil on wood painting by Brian Wills – two women bidding up the work in the last few minutes of the silent auction. As the seconds counted down, RB wearing a lovely Prada dress, in a lady-like fashion and per the museum’s rules, put in her last bid and stood next to the painting. Before she knew it, the other lady frantically swooped in and scribbled her name on the auction sheet- it was clear that this piece was going into live auction per the museums rules. When the auction closed and the museum referee came over, the other lady (grrr…) made such a scene by yelling and puffing up her bejeweled/designer outfit clad chest (not at all playing by the museum’s rules of “when an item is in dispute it goes into live auction”) that Rachel finally decided to back down. The scene left my friend almost in tears.
It was a true bidding “war”…no bodily assault occurred of course (but if one more minute had passed who knows what would have happened). One women left as the proud owner of Brian Wills’ art and the other, Rachel, with a look on her face as if something really quite disastrous had happened! 🙂 (RB is still without a Brian Wills but at least she has her good health and her dignity in tact! Hee hee!)
A colorful story to speak about a colorful, skilled and, in my humble opinion, very talented artist, Brian Wills.
I like art that has a real meaning from the artist but also leaves room for much interpretation from the viewer.
Los Angeles artist Brian Wills creates just my kind of art. Intricately detailed abstract art that has true meaning for the artist (in his case somewhat scientific meaning it seems) and can take on so much for each person that views. His work is rhythmic, colorful, detailed yet simple, playful and profound.
Brian is repped by Lexi Brown at The Happy Lion Gallery on Chung King Road in downtown Los Angeles. Here’s what Happy Lion says on its website about Brian’s most recent 2008 show “String Theory”.
“Referencing the (yet unproven) scientific theory of “everything”, which seeks to unify all the fundamental interactions of nature, Wills’ second show with the gallery includes two and three-dimensional works which use string as the primary mark-making medium.
String theory hypothesizes that everything is made of tiny vibrating strands of energy, or strings, instead of single zero-dimensional particles as previously thought. It provides a unified framework for viewing the universe, which scientists now believe contains at least ten dimensions.
Similarly, the strings in Wills’ work provide the elemental building blocks for his multi-dimensional abstractions. The strings are never still; the surfaces vibrate with color. The works are self-contained worlds that are constantly in flux. For Wills, science parallels art.
Despite the direct reference to science, the work is completely and meticulously hand-made. Wills explores the intrinsic qualities of his materials. String, wood and varnish are accessible yet fragile; and Wills is keenly aware of their spatial presence. The repetition and labor evident in the multiple-piece constructions call attention to the process by which they were made. The massiveness of the undertaking points to an obsessive dedication and supports the idea of abstraction as a mental process. The finished works are a stunning visual experience, surging with energy and requiring contemplation. “
The Happy Lion Gallery website description of “String Theory”
These are two paintings that I love from my own collection. They hang in my house, a tiny little cottage in the Hollywood Hills. While my house is minuscule…everyday, this incredible art by Brian makes my little world much bigger.