Meet the Artist: Steve Williams
Steve Williams grew up with his family owning and operating a electrical sign manufacturing company in Jacksonville, Florida. He focused his artistic inclination into a graphic design degree, which led him to a ten-year stint, working with his family, selling and designing signs and environmental graphics.
During his tenure with the family business he found that he could no longer find fulfillment within the parameters of applied design. Williams began pursuing the drawing, painting and sculpture that he had started during his college days.
Williams decided to begin working towards a career in fine arts. As he worked, he took long, thoughtful looks at himself and his work. He realized that his intent and passion still gravitated toward signs. These creations, which he thought, were meaningless were actually very meaningful symbols, explaining his existence, directing his soul on its journey through life.
“I find myself being led to act as a storyteller creating a visual vocabulary with these signs and symbols providing a narrative through my paintings of some meaningful, enigmatic language that is common to all even though it is obscure, Williams confers.”
“This journey has brought me to a very interesting point in my work. I find myself obsessed with symbols and signs. The subjects set in motion a series of attitudes that we as human beings find to be inseparable, universal components of our existence”.
“In my paintings these forms find a place along with other symbols whose meanings are more obscure in a matrix of compelling color and texture. My desire is to draw the viewer in with color, texture and other decorative elements giving him place to linger, investigating and questioning his position in life, possibly finding validation amidst the signs”.
These days, one can find Williams going back and forth between painting and the family’s sign business. The combination is an inspiring mix, one which becomes evident as the body of work develops.
With these works, Mr. Williams delves into an exploration of the familiar and exotic through the lens of currency. The history, the craft, the colors, the iconography, even the act of counterfeiting, become relatable, mutable elements. By examining currency in its domestic and foreign forms, Williams sheds light on these complex interrelationships and uncovers the myths we tell ourselves, the assets that we shelter, and our potentially destructive behaviors.