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LUCK OF THE DRAW: THE ART OF MICHAEL WILLIAMS

Michael Williams, PuzzledDAD series (5), 2016, oil and acrylic on linen, 36 × 48". From the series “PuzzledDAD series,” 2015–16.

ONE OF THE BETTER DESCRIPTIONS of Michael Williams’s vision of painting comes from the artist himself. At the end of a fairly exhausting studio visit earlier this year, I asked him whether he had faith in a grand notion of art—something to which most artists decidedly would not admit. He replied:

I do have a great belief in art, but I’m not as in touch with that as I was when I was thirteen. There is something mystical about making art and paintings. Alone in the studio making a painting can be a strange time. Moving around weirdly, doing weird things. I like the idea of being more purposeful. Sometimes you have to believe in the magic of the thing. I’ve seen a painting just finish itself. You can get excited about a painting, risk ruining it, and there’s this energy and it’s No, you didn’t ruin a painting, you finished a painting. You have to honor that moment in order for

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