“Titty Cloud” at Domy Books, Austin

Domy Books discovers a young talent, William Gaynor. Displaying new drawings by the young Austin-based artist in “To Climb a Mountain On Top of a Tree;” the exhibition is on display in October.

“Titty Cloud” immediately caught my attention at the latest opening at Domy Books, Austin; “To Climb a Mountain On Top of a Tree” is the exhibition title, a series of drawings by young Austinite-transplant William Gaynor.

There was something deadpan about Gaynors supernatural, heavily-outlined illustrations. Perhaps, unapologetic is the word, not deadpan. The delivery goes something like this: “I draw clouds of breasts.”

When I asked the artist to tell me more, he admitted to having a lifelong obsession with breasts, which he considers to be a perversion. Fair enough.

“Titty Cloud” reminded me of what the Guggenheim calls the, “outlandish latex costumes embellished with breastlike protuberances,” that Louise Bourgeois used to wear.

Of course, Gaynor draws other subjects (besides those that are anatomical), including allegorical depictions of swords piercing acid clouds, for instance.

Gaynors drawings include a simplistic perspective of background and foreground, which singularly announces the subject. Muted colors in the background also attract attention predominately to figures. Gaynors imaginary beings and things are interpreted in an obsessively realistic manner, nodding to comic book illustrations. However, the artist was chastised for outlining””a no-no in art school”” which he says is involuntary, something he must do. Im glad he does. The heavy, black line articulates incessant detail with exacting clarity, pronouncing figures as concoctions from the artists imagination, rather than objects from real life. If the artist fails to provide each neurotically painstaking line, then viewers might fail to understand Gaynor.

Each stroke represents the decisive moment when Gaynors imagined figures become real.

Even though the relics of Gaynors mind are in his opinion “not the most beautiful subjects, at least people might appreciate the craft with which they are drawn.” Gaynor is a talented draftsman, no doubt. Id like to think that his minds eye captures detail beyond what most of us imagine, which translates to the paper through his pen.

Thats the real ulterior motive here, that the artist brings people into his mind; hes developing a language through which to understand the external world in hopes that we might return the favor.

Photo credit: Carling Hale

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