Larry Willis is an artist living in Chandler, Arizona, whose work spans nearly three decades.After playing in rock bands for a time, with musicians who would go on to play with Michael Jackson and Kinks drummer Mick Avory, he turned his artistic endeavors to painting. He attended art classes at Phoenix College in 1967-68 and studied paintigs in Europe but is basically self-taught. He was part of the seminal contemporary art scene of Phoenix in the early 1980’s. Besides having had twelve solo shows in Arizona, he has had work exhibited at dozens of galleries, art centers and museums from California to Maine and in collaboration with French artist Gregory Bouctot Charneau in Paris. He was three times selected to show at the Southwestern Invitational Exhibition and also selected twice for The Arizona Biennial at the Tucson Museum of Art. He was recently included in the exhibit “Messin With the Masters” at the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum. Contact for complete CV.
Inspiration in much of my recent work is taken from popular culture, especially the transient nature of things, like fame and fashion, the personas we create in our minds about famous people we know only by the songs they sing, the parts they play and what we read in magazines. We come to love or hate people we have never met by the fables we invent about them. By extension we may also create personas for ourselves and play out the parts based on these illusions. I also like to riff on art, like a jazz musician quoting passages or giving it a new spin, in a continuum of traditional themes. My work is also informed at times by the art and decade of the 1960s.