By Kimberly Rene’ Vanecek and Kyle Alvarado
Billingsley said El Pasoans who supported him through the Border Art Residency program helped him realize that contemporary art matters in the region. In a more intimate note they showed him that his work is relevant and capable of generating interest.
Billingsley said. “There was a moment in there where I became aware of how many people really seemed to care about contemporary art, whether they liked my stuff or not, and it made me feel like I was making some sort of difference.”
Billingsley’s paintings strike the viewer in a unique way. He utilizes a piping bag, like one used on a cake, with a mixture of acrylic and house paint. He notes that the consistency of this mixture is almost like painting with water. As the paint leaves the controlled confines of the bag and settles onto the wide-open canvas, something interesting happens—gravity will affect the line. It will spread out and settle in an unpredictable manner. This unpredictable thread carries into Billingsley’s striking sculptures.
Utilizing expanding foam and plaster bandages he constructs colorful abstractions of the human form. “The decision making process has to be fast. Foam is going to be in an organic form and bubbly. It expands 18 times its size. You can’t always control it,” He said. “Its unpredictability creates growth in terms of actual sculpture giving mass. You can put together a whole human form through blobby noise. Your mind puts the rest of the body/art work together.”
Read more in our May Issue.
Photographed by Kimberly Rene’ Vanecek and Peter Svarzbein