Brent Willson describes his painting practice as “a study of psychological frameworks within a transitory condition.”
Influenced by surrealist painters, Paul Klee, Joan Miró, and Adolph Gottlieb, Willson’s paintings allow childlike mark-making, pictographs, and symbols to evolve, acting as a language of the subconscious mind. Ties to the mission school appear in his use of low-brow materials (wood panels and sometimes house paint) as well as in his predilection of constant reflection on society and humanity. He says of his process, “My target in this ever changing landscape is an expression of individual diversity within social density.”
In some paintings we see hints of his personal surroundings, which are a home, studio and large garden very near ocean beach, in San Francisco. Visual vocabularies of Milton Avery and Helen Frankenthaler come to mind, feeling both specific, intimate, yet abstract, universal. The work projects internal and external landscapes overlapping and emerging.
Born in 1969 in the Bay Area Willson grew up playing in local punk bands and designing album covers, then studying architecture and drafting. Contemporaries Chris Johanson and Chris Corales were local influences to his visual art. Early on, he became a prolific poet and writing remains an essential part of his creative process. Recently, he self-published two volumes of poetry entitled "San Francisco Morning Fog Horns Make Me Happy." Vol. one, 2014. Vol. two, 2015.