Diane Williams is a multidisciplinary artist whose work stems from the political and social landscape that surrounds her—specifically the ethnically diverse neighborhoods of Los Angeles. She uses art as a call to arms, creating works that explore issues about immigrants and gender to encourage cultural and social understanding.
In her series Monsters & Aliens, Williams created masks woven from shredded paintings and discarded materials and wore these masks in performances where the masks clearly signed for “other.” She wanted viewers to question what they feared from strangers and to begin to examine their own prejudices with respect to race and gender. In a mixed media work entitled Fractured but not Broken, she also displayed the masked and fragmented female body-- depicting the disparate body parts in photographs and drawings, overlaid with Plexiglas and blue and yellow duralar. This human scaled work confronted viewers declaring, “see me for who I am -- not as a cultural stereotype.”
During her residency at Shoebox Projects, Williams will create a site-specific installation that further explores ideas of marginalization by physically dividing the space. In addition, she will embark on a new series of works that track the surges in hate crimes since the inauguration of President Trump. In her work, Williams seeks to find a common ground between the works she makes and the community at large. For example in the participatory piece, This in my America, she asks viewers to write the first name of an immigrant they know and their relationship to that person on a piece of paper and then post it on a wall. Collectively illustrating the idea of an extended community.
About the artist:
Diane Williams is a multi disciplinary artist and an emerging curator living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her BFA degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2013. Her work has been featured in select publications and exhibited in solo shows and several group exhibitions including Personal Narrative at the Annenberg Beach House Gallery, Santa Monica, With Liberty and Justice for Some at Walter Maciel, Culver City (2017), Countenance Divine, at Gallery 825, Los Angeles, and Defend & Advance, National Immigration Law Center, Los Angeles (2016).
About Shoebox Projects:
Shoebox Projects is a new experimental art space in DTLA, where emerging and mid-career artists are given an opportunity to freely experiment with new ideas and directions for their practice. Founded by Kristine Schomaker, multimedia artist and director of Shoebox PR and Art and Cake, Shoebox Projects intends to give artists a chance to recharge and renew their relationship with their work.