Every generation of mankind produces artists of deep originality and profound genius and Williams Carmona is one of them. Born in Cuban 1967 of a broken family and from extremely modest means, Williams has scaled the peaks of the global artistic scene and is recognized by critics, peers and sophisticated collectors as one of the luminaries of surrealism. Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, his adopted country, he pursues his artistic vision with a passionate combination of deep technical proficiency, extensive historical perspective and searing independence formed in the crucible of an adolescence in an oppressive dictatorship that ultimately led to his emigration.
Williams' emigration from Cuba and eventual relocation to Puerto Rico in 1991 provided the artistic freedom he sought. His technique matured and his creativity blossomed. As that occurred, his reputation soared. In 1996 he was honored by a prestigious solo exhibition at the Museo de las Americas in Puerto Rico and by inclusion with the Latin American Masters in the Latin View Points exhibition with Fernando Botero, Leonora Carrington, Luis Cruz-Azaceta, Frida Kahlo, Wilfredo Lam, Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Julio Larraz, Joaquin Torres Garcia, Remedios Varo, Francisco Suniga, Claudio Bravo, Elena Climent, Matta and others at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Long Island, New York. His reputation broke the international barrier in the late 90s and his works are handled by Christies and Southebys. Williams' has works in many public and private collections around the world including France, Germany, United States, United Kingdom, Latin America, and others.
Artists of deep originality derive their vision from their inner dialogue and external experiences. Williams has a huge abundance of both. Raised by his grandmother, having never known his father, and with a mother engaged in a profession not suited for a young boy, Williams exhibited a prodigy's drive and ability to create his own world in his artistic creations. That drive and ability has never deserted him, as it has for others who were given such prodigious talent. Instead, it has grown and today Williams continues to push the envelope in his many artistic endeavors which have created an abundant body of brilliant creations.
Surrealism coupled with extraordinary technical ability allows Williams to visualize multiple level stories in each of his works. Basic themes abound. The shoe signifying transport from one physical location to another, from various psychic dimensions. Water, and in particular the ocean, speaking to oppression and freedom. Smoke taking the scene from one mind dimension to another while keeping all present in view. Homelessness in the face of a real man. And religious experience and symbols from the Bible.
Sex and the female body and life force occupy the focus in many works. Perhaps this is the legacy of Mother, or William's many female friends, but there is a deep primordial longing in their messages. And Williams with his unflinching honesty, does not tone down his visions but instead lays them bare, but figuratively and literally, in his paintings and sculptures.
The Spanish world as transformed to the Caribbean occupies many works. Churches, plazas, Saints, religious emblems, centuries old stone structures, and other talismans populate the scenes as part of layers in layers in the visual story. The observer gets drawn into the scenes within scenes as they savor the messages and engage in silent mental dialogue with Williams encapsulated in the work.
Sculptures are another medium of expression. Shoes, frying pans, and other everyday objects are transformed by Williams into profound works of art. Such originality is typical of Williams, who melds the ordinary with the profound with mediums that not only provide the platform for the visual expression but also double as part of the work's message. The story within the story, image within the image paradigm is exemplified in such sculptures in Williams' typical highly original fashion.
So how does an artist create such an extensive, deep, varied and visionary body of work at such an early age? Part is due to God given talent, part is due to a prodigious work ethic, and part is due to an urgent need to out extraordinary personal visions. But it is also due to a deep love of the creative process and the marriage of the life of the mind and the act of physical creation. But most importantly is the manifestation of a deeply sensitive boy trapped in the body and mind of a man who was formed in an oppressive totalitarian world and now lives in freedom where anything artistic is possible. There is no doubt that the world will see many more extraordinary artistic creations from Williams in the years to come as he continues to follows his dreams and his visions. We all owe him a deep sense of gratitude as his allows us to share his private world as exposed in his visionary works.
– Rob Sterner, Art Critic, Historian
Williams Carmona's work can be found in numerous major public collections and prestigious muse-ums, including the Nassau County Museum of Art, New York; Museum Del Barrio Private Collection, New York; Museum of the MOLAA, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Miami; MoMA, San Salva-dor; Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; Pompidou Museum, Paris; Ludwig Foundation Collection, Co-logne, Germany: Private Collection of Sir Paul McCartney; Private Collection of Sir Elton John: Barack Obama Presidential Collection (Smithsonian); Jarnie Walsh Foundation, Madrid; MAP of Puerto Rican Art Collection, San Juan, Puerto Rico; United Nations Latin American Art Collection, New York; Jack Lemon Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Fanjul Foundation, Miami, FL; Praxis Art International, New York: Spativm Gallery, Caracas, Venezuela; Cernuda Art Gallery, Miami, FL: Michele Esterne Collec-tion, Washington DC; Murer Gallery, Atlanta, USA; Ewar Gomez Collection, Art critic of The New York Times.
Awards and Honors include, among others: Juror's Award of Excellence in painting, drawing and en-graving, University of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba in 1990 and a Grand Prize, Painting, Salon Provincial, Pinar del Rio, Cuba in 1989.
Williams Carmona lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico.