Robin F. Williams’ portraits will look you in the eye. Concerned with creating power dynamics between the painting and the viewer, her art is centered around women, situated in poses that remind of fashion advertisements.
“I work to give every figure a kind of sentience or self-awareness,” explained the Brooklyn-based painter in an interview with Art of Choice. “To be more specific, the paintings explore gender in an American context as it relates to power. I work to balance narrative with formal concerns in order to simulate these dynamics. I’m always trying to keep myself curious and engaged with paint as well. This results in a lot of play and some humor in my practice.”
Since receiving her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Williams has exhibited her work at galleries including Bard College at Simon’s Rock, P.P.O.W. Gallery, and Sargent’s Daughters. But though she studied illustration, Williams says her roots are in representation and figuration; and most of her practice, she’s worked exclusively in oil, employing varying degrees of realism.
“In the last several years I’ve been using multiple techniques and mediums, and the look of my work has evolved through my working methods,” she explained. Now, rather than realistic, her work seems more digital, though it shies from Photorealism. “I mix those treatments with more painterly passages and the result is a kind of mash-up of different eras and visual signifiers,” says Williams.
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