Profile: Carl Joe Williams (1970-)

Carl Joe Williams is an American visual artist based in New Orleans.

Art career

Williams creates paintings and painted sculpture from found objects, references to pop culture and rhythmic patterns inspired by the geometric forms found in nature. His work was included in Reverb: Past, Present, Future, at the Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), where New York curator, Isolde Brielmaier, unpacked the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina through the survey show. “I had this old chair that sat in my bathroom for the longest time, and I always saw it as a piece of sculpture. It looks like a hanger, but it almost looked like a piece of African sculpture to me.”

He describes his works as “symphonies of colors” that present a powerful visual experience. Williams’ installation, Journeys, was featured at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (Atlanta, GA) in 2002. And his Sculptural Trees public art installation in Metairie, Louisiana was described as reminiscent of “lollipops in a Candyland forest,” with their custom acrylic light boxes attached to crepe myrtles. Williams is one of the founders of Blights Out, a Creative Capital supported project in New Orleans along with artists Lisa Sigal and Imani Jacqueline Brown. Blights Out is a community- and artist-led initiative to activate agency in neighborhood development. This initiative was initiated as part of Prospect New Orleans, the largest biennial of international contemporary art in the U.S. His visual interpretations are enhanced by his vision of art and music as extensions of one another. An accomplished musician as well as a visual artist, Williams incorporates his musical compositions into videos and installations. Found objects play an important role in Williams’s works by becoming elements a narrative continuum that addresses societal and historical concerns.

Williams attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Art (NOCCA) where he received formal training. Williams continued his studies at Atlanta College of Art earning his BFA.

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