Wildcat Will – Gallery Sessions debut
with a DJ set from The Horrors
9th – 31st July 2015
To celebrate the seasonal buoyancy that fills the city every summer, Beautiful Crime debuted their brand new concept, The Gallery Sessions, where art meets music. A musician is asked to curate a playlist of songs inspired by the artworks and then play them behind the decks at the launch night. The art? A fantastic body of work by William Blanchard aka Wildcat Will, entitled, ‘Love is like a Butterfly.’ Inspired by the artistic, libertine spirit of the Parisian music hall, the Follies Bergère, Will revives the titillating world of topless girls and the Paris revue in bold, enticing collages on canvas. The musicians? None other than The Horrors (see images or watch the vid below).
For ‘Love is Like A Butterfly,’ Will used Edouard Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’ as a starting point for the solo exhibition. “Edouard Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergèreis full of ambiguities and doubt.” he says. “What’s seen in the mirror behind the barmaid isn’t something that we see in front of it.” Blanchard explains that the dreamlike dislocation of Manet’s captured his sympathies for the twilight zone of the demimonde, who existed albeit glamorously on the fringes of society. They could become celebrities of their time but many died in poverty.
Having initially abandoned his art path for rock ‘n’ roll to work with a number of bands as a drummer – such as Jamiroquai, Shakespeare’s Sister, Beth Orton and Death in Vegas – Will describes himself as more of a ‘rock’ artist than a pop artist. He remarks, “In a way, becoming a drummer is the modern day equivalent of joining the circus, a fantasy removed from normal life. The Belle Epoque period was the rock ‘n’ roll of its time. I wanted to produce work that had a correlation to the kind of duality that I have experienced.”
Wildcat Will is known to possess a hoarding gene inherited from his father, and like all creatives, manifests this trait physically through his craft in making multidisciplinary art from a vast personal museum of objects and memorabilia collected from his childhood through to his adult years. Creating collage pieces from textures and materials, Will had always been interested in painting, graphics and typography but creating his own artistic language has been his focus. Blanchard explains, “My art is full of my influences, it’s a language that is personal to me.” As a non-conformist artist, his signature has become a meddling of images and assemblages. Combining surrealism with pop culture, Will’s nudes are suspended in canvases adorned with butterflies, a recurring motif that appears in his work.
Some of these works are available to buy from Beautiful Crime here