Airbrush, Hand-painting, Stencil
12.25 × 9.25 × 1 in
San Francisco, CA
CollectionCollection Development, Unique Books
1 in stock
Some artists’ work is discussed for its ability to create entire worlds. This is admirable, but Scott Williams’s artists’ books and paintings operate with a far more stellar cosmology. Williams creates parallel galaxies and universes and even new dimensions of space/time. To gaze into a Scott Williams piece is to go down a wormhole of existencil California psychedelia.
Arrow Up is one of the most important artworks of the GOAT Stencil Pirate Godfather Scott Williams. It is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful, illuminated manuscripts of visionary Californian/Turtle Island psychedelic scripture. The entrancing compositions range from the sanctification of Western Pan-Americana icons to profoundly complex ‘abstractions’. The book is made with the epitome of stencil cutting and airbrush painting skills, and Williams’s paintings evidence unimaginable feats of creative human labor and visionary imaginative skills. His intricate stencil cutting and the addition of microscopic iridescent glass beads to the paints (the same used for traffic marking paints) make for an almost impossible-to-photograph visual environment of numerous viewing perspectives, adding numerous experiential layers to the already complicated tessellations that at times seem reminiscent of the genius of M. C. Escher. The book-form is the perfect frame for these small portals into the cosmos, the slightest changes in the level of the book can produce almost completely different palettes and compositions across the pages.
Arrow Up is basically Williams’ A-list codex of his most accomplished small paintings. He started the book in the 1990s and worked on it over the course of over 20 years, completing the book during the Covid-19 Lockdown of 2020 at the point when his eyesight problems made it impossible for him to cut stencils and deal with airbrushing. The book is a unique, exceptional, and stunning work of book production. It’s a book that resonates with other great illuminated manuscripts and codices. The book is a functional, random access, aesthetic kaleidoscope, documenting the specific sunlight of the California Coast and the culture that sunlight seeded (and still sustains), as one of the most creatively active loci of human cultural production. Arrow Up is one of the last 7 available unique painted books from Scott’s personal collection.
Note that the book was bound by well-loved and respected artist, and cultural organizer Carrie Galbraith (1956-2018, member of San Francisco Cacophony Society and author of “Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society”).
Contact Booklyn for acquisition inquiries.