Interestingly engaged with the abstract world, Morgan Will’s (b. 1992) paintings challenge the viewer with uncommon depictions inspired by the artist’s remarkable keenness in detail and mindfully art perspective. Observing Wills’ work, the repetitive motif that appears in most of his art is almost concealed; deformed or weirdly shaped male figures consist a critical contribution to his visual abstractions and create unseen signs communicating a strange narrative to the rest of his painting composition. The male figures, such as in Screen Shot, keep a satisfying balance of styles and visual language within the artist’s other imagery.
Words: Yannis Kostarias
Wills captures random visions that aim to project manifold interpretations to the viewer through the mysterious, almost surreal, character of his work. It seems that his paintings take shape after a more careful observation revealing their meaning in the course of their development. Pointing out the painting’s microcosm, such as in Boulder Portrait or in Through Net, small details on canvas attach significant visual attributes that render a fuzzy dynamic and move the whole painting to another level.
Slight grotesque features, such as long pointed noises, buggy geometries in anthropomorphic bodies or freakish teeth and fingers, create irregular images full of creative absurdism. Genderless figures characterise Wills’ artistry, while seemingly meaningless elements, infused by a sense of satire and hyper-realistic style, underline the pragmatic, fantastic or ambiguous scenes in his works. Wills’ intention is apparently to stimulate and activate emotions rather than to explain. And he certainly achieves that.
Born in 1992, Morgan Wills lives and works in London. The emerging artist studied a BA in Painting at Wimbledon College of Art in 2014. His work has been mainly exhibited across the United Kingdom in art galleries, such as the Unit 1 Gallery Workshop, the Bloomberg New Contemporaries, the Sid Motion and the Tripp gallery at the British capital. Last year, Wisdom Tooth was the artist’s latest solo exhibition as part of the residency he had at Unit 1 in London.
In his interview with Art Verge, Morgan Wills shares his approach on his abstract art and other art issues, while providing some very interesting insights about his daily life.
Art Verge: Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Morgan Wills: There isn’t a general formula really – I guess I usually start figuring things out through drawing. Ideas realised through this process then inform the paintings and sculptures.
AV: How would you define your work in few words (ideally in 3 words)?
MW: Painting, drawing, sculpture.
AV: Can you name any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
MW: It’s a big list, I look at a lot of work, and try to see as much in the flesh as possible – recently I have enjoyed the work of Karl Horst Hödicke, Michael Armitage and some great tapestries by Alicja Kowalska and Tomasz Kowalski.
AV: Creating a new painting can be a solitary process. If this applies to you, when you concentrate on a new artwork does it affect your social life at all?
MW: Not especially, I think I’m much happier in general life when I’m working.
AV: How do you know when an artwork is finished?
MW: That is the big question – I don’t think there is a formula that works every time, it’s always different. I like to think I’ll know it when I see it, unfortunately sometimes I only realise a few additions too late – that’s when I know its going to be a long one.
AV: Which exhibition did you visit last?
MW: The Rose Wylie show at the serpentine, it was a return trip, too good not to.
AV: What do you hope audiences will take from your work?
MW: For the work to inspire any kind of response is great. There’s no controlling what people think, but no response at all would be a disaster.
AV: What does your mum think about your art?
MW: She is very supportive.
AV: Is the glass half empty or half full?
MW: Depends what’s in it.
AV: What are your plans for the near future?
MW: Moving studio.