Ian Williams uses a traditional medium, painting, to redefine and rethink the aesthetics of gaming. His work is the outcome of a complex process involving three-dimensional computer modelling and paint, screens and canvases. His process is simultaneously simple and complex: the artist extract elements from a video game and removes the two dimensional textures that adorn polygons. He then investigates the essence of such objects by painting them on a canvas. The result is truly original as the objects depicted are barely recognizable as elements of the original virtual prop. Williams's entire oeuvre is an expanding visual archive of 3D objects. As Darryn Ansted writes, Williams "explores the metaphysics of computer games". The game is stripped bare of all its alluring graphics and then fixed on a flat surface forever. It's a remarkable reinvention of the still life genre. As the curator suggests,
His procedure allows him to leave behind the content of the game and foreground the work of the ‘physics engine’. This is essentially an algorithm designed by a computer programmer, or team of computer programmers, whose role in the game is like that of the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz. They make ‘things’ in the game look like they exist. The algorithm makes an object in the game appear to have a ‘surface’, to obey gravity and more broadly to interact in a Newtonian manner, like things in our world. Put simply, the paintings result from investigating how a computer game makes a 2 dimensional surface appear to have 3 dimensions—but Williams then problematizes it. (Darryn Ansted, 2019)
Ian Williams, Familiars, 2019, oil on panel, 30 x 30 cm
Ian Williams, Dark Matter, 2019, oil on canvas, 106 x 166 cm
Ian Williams, A Delicate Union, 2019, oil on canvas, 30 x 45 cm
Born in 1976, Ian Williams earned a First Class Honors in Bachelor of Fine Art at Curtin University, Perth, WA (2018) and currently continues his doctoral research in fine art (PhD). His practice is concerned with understanding the reality of virtual environments through painting. Using found objects from video games, he utilises the conventions of Still Life painting to explore the properties of the virtual everyday object. Ian works mainly within the mediums of painting and drawing, and has work in public and private collections including Artbank, Curtin University, University of Western Australia, Central Institute of Technology and Town of Victoria Park. Williams' recent solo and two-person exhibitions include: Painting the Unreal, Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, Bunbury (2019); The Life Around, Midland Junction Arts Centre, Midland (with Ellen Norrish) (2019); Still Bytes, The Lobby, Swanbourne (2019); Deadspace, Turner Galleries, Northbridge (with Nathan Brooker) (2017); Mind Games, Shopfront Gallery (CIT); Northbridge (with David Ledger) (2015); Open World, Free Range Gallery, Perth (2015). He lives and works in Perth, Australia.
LINK: Ian Williams