William McMahan

Artist Statement

I find nothing to be more expressive or evocative than the figure. Humans, animals, or suggestions of either are what interest and engage me the most as a viewer and as an artist. I have studied figure drawing and anatomy for years, and I am fascinated by subtleties in form and gesture, and by how emotion may be manipulated through slight shifts in posture or expression.

My prints show highly textured figures existing in indeterminate, expansive spaces. The figures are often off-balance, contorted, and constrained, sometimes by their environments or each other, but more commonly by their own anatomy. Some of the figures are static and appear to be decaying and rotting, while others actively move about or grow new appendages.

I have been considering the figure itself as a landscape in my recent work, and the textures that I create within the figures are suggestive, but open to numerous interpretations regarding their origins and surface qualities.