The eyes of the dreamer lost in-between two worlds or closed on dreams beyond our grasp, a serene melancholic atmospehere disseminating an aura of quietness, of relaxed well-being, warm and soft, the relaxation of the muscles in a confident abandon like a remembrance of the childhood, a work on tints and textures, dark and strange and yet very welcoming at the same time, bathed in a soft twilight light.
New York City, New York, United States
Interview with Bill Travis
What message(s) do you want to express through your work?
For me, it’s mainly about love, desire, memory, hope, nostalgia. I hope that people will read their own messages into my work. If they do, that means I am making some kind of connection.Which artists inspire you? Who are your masters?
I earned a Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and taught medieval art for several years before chucking it all and taking up fine art photography. So my list of artists is rather long. I love the color and textures of Degas, Monet, and Bonnard; the subtlety of Whistler; the sensuality of Titian and Botticelli; the humanity of Vermeer and Rembrandt. The list goes on and on… I guess the main point is that painting, especially Old Master painting, is deeply engrained in my aesthetic.What have you gained by being on the internet?
Photography operates on a different level. It doesn’t have the surface texture, the warm colors, or the feeling of a “hand” passing over it that we get from painting. What photography does have is precision, giving it a lifelikeness that goes beyond what any painting can achieve. Photography has the unique ability to make the most manipulated things seem real.
In my own work, I am interested in exploring how these two art forms—seemingly so different in their aims—bounce off each other. My intent is to create work that is sensual like painting and believable like photography.
Exposure. I also enjoy corresponding with people who have written after discovering my site.Did the internet enable you to meet new models, to find new exhibit places?
Absolutely. What did people do before the internet?Has your work ever been censored? If so, how did you deal with it?
When I exhibited next door to the papal palace in Castel Gandolfo (Italy), I was asked not to exhibit anything too racy, though I have a feeling some of the priests might have preferred juicier stuff. The bigger issue may be self-censorship. Living in a time of rabid conservatism, many artists censor their own work just to avoid the hassle.What projects mean a lot to you at the moment?
I just finished a book-length project on “Dreamers”, which consists of fifty images of men dreaming and a brief text. At present I am looking for a publisher.Could you tell us a few words about the place you live/work in?
I live in New York City. The city is a great place in terms of galleries, museums, cultural activities, and perhaps above all in terms of its openness to new things. It’s so stimulating to be around creative people.Words gathered in October 2007
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