I was born on the floor of a house in Seoul, Korea by a 90lb Korean mother with only a midwife as a witness. I was 11lbs. 14oz. The world still wonders how that tiny woman ejected such a large mass of boy with no trouble at all.
The result of this physical improbability is a perfectly round head as witnessed by a convenience store clerk in Boise, Idaho. His exact words were, “Dude, your head is perfectly round.” Pause, my reply: “Uh, thank you?” One would think that in such a perfectly round dome ideas and images might be orbiting neatly, ripe for the plucking. Nothing could be further from the truth. If my head were opened it would be quite messy. A lot goes in there and if I did not release the pressure, an eye might pop out.
Though my work can be meticulous in its execution my mind scribbles, jumps, spins, and spits. There is rarely more than an itch at the beginning. Surface will speak and stuff emerges as unknown yet familiar characters, odd forms, and unbalancing juxtapositions. Some pieces divulge narratives as I paint. Some stare back and challenge. Most of my paintings are acrylic. But I draw with graphite, ink, watercolor and whatever else I can get my hands on. Working on wood, panel, copper, paper, or panel can take me in wildly different directions. Hopefully those who look at my work will be touched in that mad place that lies in the corner of all brains.
“Imagery From the Bird’s Home: The Art of Bill Carman” is currently available from Flesk Publications.
More info: billcarman.com
#1 Monoclular Emergencies
8x1o inches acrylic on panel. Glasses and monocles are symbols I have used since before graduate school. Everyone wants us to look at things through their lens.
#2 Ms. Hatter And A Smile
11x14 inches. Acrylic and watercolor on wood. Second in series of three Alice in Wonderland paintings.
#3 Djinny Djuggling
9x12 inches on wood. For "More Than a Cone." A show benefiting animals.
#4 Swiss Army Monocle
5x8 inches, acrylic and watercolor on hand made watercolor paper. Every kid wanted a Swiss Army Knife.
#5 Birds Watching
6x8 inches, acrylic on panel. We watch birds, they watch us.
#6 Left Turn
4x6 inches, acrylic on mat board. Getting them to turn in concert.
#7 Horned (right Panel)
Right panel, 9x12 inches, acrylic on panel.
#8 Batgirl And Batsquid Ride Batpug With Batbat In The Lead
8x10 inches, acrylic on panel. This started me on a weird and wonderful journey doing superhero commissions.
#9 Milk Bath
11x14 inches, acrylic on panel. Another in my dubious superhero series.
#10 Snake Eyes
3x3 inches, acrylic on copper. Snakes are incredible, and so are eyes.
#11 Shy Alto
6x8 inches, acrylic copper. Some of us just want to sing. No glory, just sing.
16x20 inches, acrylic on panel. A commission for an artist whose work I love and respect. Intimidating.
#13 Down The Hole
11x14 inches, acrylic on wood. First in the series of three Alice in Wonderland paintings.
#14 Wind-up Banana
6x8 inches, acrylic and watercolor on hand made watercolor paper. You can do more with a banana than just eat it. For a year of the monkey show.
#15 Losing Rings
8x10 inches on panel. Special place in my heart for cephalopods. Stick with me and I'll tell you some stories.
#16 It Won't Melt
8x10 inches, acrylic and watercolor on hand made watercolor paper. For a year of the monkey show.
#17 Honey Sucking
8x10 inches, acrylic on panel. Bees have a great story too.
#18 If I Had A Choice
8x10 inches, acrylic and watercolor on hand made watercolor paper. I love good paper. This is about choices. Once smoke is different than the rest.
#19 Horned (triptych)
30x9 inches, acrylic on panel. An epic triptych commission.