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"Talking to Strangers" by Bill Edmonds

posted Dec 7, 2015, 2:41 PM by Executive Director
"It is my firm belief that contemporary art should take a critical approach to current social & cultural ideas, and in my current body of work I have questioned anonymity & the release of personal information." 
-Bill Edmonds



 My work is designed to open a dialogue on anonymity and the release of casual personal information on the internet. 

The title is derived from omegle.com where random strangers are picked for texted conversations, whoever was selected was then asked to send me their photo with a view to having their image painted and exhibited. My original premise was to question. Why? Why did this individual choose to release their photo? However at an early stage of the project it became apparent the strangers also had their own agendas with associated role playing and misrepresentation. Often the image was not that of the stranger and if an image was sent to me there were often unforeseen conditions and threats. From this my work has slowly evolved ; initially confidant in my contact with strangers, time has caused me to be wary ,suspicious and apprehensive. Consequently I now find whatever image is sent to me the resultant ''portrait'' mirrors my own insecurities, anxieties and fears. I would plan to use the space to convey the feeling of being engulfed and enveloped, patrons  leaving the gallery overwhelmed by a multitude of anonymous faces."
 -Edmonds

"I have continued to employ a combination of media and techniques making quick style renderings by applying common house paint to Plexiglas and Lexan panels.  I perceive myself as a self-taught artist and feel the urge to paint is a primitive force. However educated and sophisticated we become I believe this vision still remains relevant in the 21st century, perhaps in this complex world we still look for innocence and simplicity. My hope therefore is to impart a gentle compassion to my subjects, not passing judgement on them, allocating that task to the viewer. It is my conviction  that no matter how advanced we become in our technological world there will always be the need for the physical directness of the hand making its mark." -Edmonds

Learn more about the upcoming exhibit by clicking th link below to watching an Interview with the Artist   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvAzQRrUKIQ
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