Art work Features an illusion of Movement and Perspective

by Anna Warner

James Williams doesn’t just paint with a spark of emotion. He uses math, science and principles of architecture to structure art from chaos.

Williams gets his inspiration from maps. One cannot glance at his paintings without being struck by the textures, colors, and shapes. He paints a lot of elongated shapes, but no two are the same. They can be personified as having a different story, from a different place, standing for a distinct purpose. At the same time, they collide as if one shape is feeding off of another shape’s presence. The fine lines that resemble an outdated road map compliment the larger, abstract shapes.

Cone Elementary School features a piece by Williams that takes on the challenge of blending together 3D and 2D into a synchronized piece. The structure is in a donut shape with a collage of perspectives painted on its exterior. One of his most prominent principles when painting is establishing a view that we cannot see through our day-to-day mindset. “Vitamin D2” is a book that has taught Williams how to take on new perspectives and is a handy guide for new ideas on how to get people out of their element and into another segment of thought. The circular shape might remind you of the world and it breaks you out of thinking that your life and your problems are typical and shared within every other human being. The proportion of the circular shape in comparison to the actual 2D designs painted on it push the point that each color is unique and there is so much to discover within the circular element of the globe-like structure.

There are certain paintings that are meant to be viewed as still. Then there are others that long for a reason to jump out. Williams experiments with making his paintings appear to have a distinct form of rhythm. For example, all the shapes vary in color and size and are set in various positions across the canvas. Just like a road map one would use on the way to a summer getaway, the fine lines seem to travel and spread to each shape’s position. See it as an interstate; we are all from different parts of a region and the routes we take might often times lead us crashing into each other.

Another painting I came across while searching through Williams’s collection was a piece that sang the song of instrumental unity. As always he has his famous puzzle piece shapes that almost rudely bump into each other like a bus full of children shoving their way to the exit. This one is particularly interesting due to the contrast of white space and red space. All of the shapes are painted in their designated places until you see a red streak of color gliding across the canvas. This gives an illusion that the shapes are composing a sort of dance that gives life to a geometric masterpiece Williams teaches Drawing, Design, and Art History at Guilford Tech. He never has seen art as a job. His use of abstract shapes, bright and light colors, and use of maps invites the viewer to celebrate in the life of the color on his canvas and take a new perspective that deviates from the mundane. !