Item # 101360
William Whitaker is a traditional oil figure painter. His work is nationally known and collected for its masterful, distinctive style. A classic painter, his treatment of light in his artwork is exceptional. Whitaker perfectly blends technique and artistic style in his subtle and sensitive images. My art training," Whitaker says, "gave me immense respect for the figure, and I use the human form both as a thematic device and a discipline around which I can build my paintings. I like to think of the results as a tension between the real and the illusion, between a formal, structural approach and a certain amount of abandon." A Chicago native, Whitaker graduated from the University of Utah and studied further in Los Angeles. Whitaker went on to admirably succeed in the field of commercial art. He then became part of an academic environment, setting up the graphics design program at Brigham Young University where he taught design and figure painting for 12 years. In 1981 Whitaker left the university to devote himself exclusively to his own artwork. Whitaker was invited to exhibit with the National Academy of Western Art at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, where he won several awards and eventually became a member. "I like to think of my figures," explains Whitaker, "as sculptural forms described by cool light and quiet color. Like sculpture, my work is meant to be touched. I want the viewer to feel that he could reach into the picture plane, pick up and rearrange the figures. I'm a spontaneous person working within a framework of strict formalistic discipline. It is perhaps because of this paradox, this tension or friction between the way I paint and the way I actually am that I hope to express my feelings in my paintings."
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