2014 Wynn Newhouse Awards Exhibition
April 14 – May 21 , 2015
A self-taught artist, William Scott has become the architect and subject of his utopian universe, re-building his native San Francisco in search of the elusive “normal life”, William uses his work as a transformative tool to alter the often harsh reality of urban crime, disability and family turmoil into a world of peace, safety and good mental health. In his paintings, a gleaming San Francisco re-emerges as “Praise Frisco,” a place where Scott’s public longing for wholesome, peaceful interactions take place within re-developed idealized neighborhood housing projects and a vision of urban utopia.
Through a series of drawings, letters, and ceramic sculptures, Scott also recreates images of the women who attend his Bayview-neighborhood church, an expression of his social longings. The work communicates his desire for a romantic relationship with a “popular, tolerant woman,” one who will share a life with him in his re-imagined city. The bleak project housing of his Bayview neighborhood is re-made as a center of joy and prosperity. He does not attempt to stray too far from the aesthetic appearance of real-life, instead exaggerating and idealizing the things that could have been. Often employing the phrase “Reinvent the Past”, Scott is nostalgic for a golden era of culture, music, and moral values which he hopes to return to through his artwork.
Given his dual diagnosis of autism and schizophrenia, Scott’s vision of “wholesome encounters” is both a serial fixation that is prone to repetition, but also capable of such surreal, sincere yearning that his prophetic imagery actually amounts to a complete—albeit fantastical— urban world. With such committed enthusiasm and a highly developed painting and drawing style, Scott questions the hard edge that contemporary city life often creates, and offers us a convincing glimpse of an alternative future.