1xRun Thru Interview
The Right To Bear Art by Mary Williams
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about these pieces, when were they created?
Mary Williams: If you like these in photograph form, then you will really love them in person. There are small details which make each one unique. Some of them have my fingerprints on them. I put scratches in the background of the grumpy cat collage. There is one where I used a piece of wild rice to make the bullet. There is imagination and discipline in each one. Plus a dark sense of humor sometimes.These were just made recently in January and February. 1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Mary Williams: I had done a series of gun drawings in the fall. Around the same time I was working on some drawings of cells and bugs under a microscope. I had always wanted to work with collage, and I finally had the nerve to chop up my drawings with an x-acto knife. I cut out this flea I had drawn, then I glued it down with an envelope. As if someone had sent someone else a giant flea carcass in the mail. I showed it to Dan at 1xRUN and he asked if I could do that with gun imagery, so the idea for each one came very easily. It’s hard to get away from guns nowadays. There is one that was influenced by recent tragic events. I can blame “Law and Order” and “CSI” for at least 4 of them. Much older guns are quite intricate and beautiful, so “The Duel” was a joy to draw. And who doesn’t enjoy the gun-as-penis comparison? I had a Duchamp urinal postcard so I couldn’t resist. The most intriguing stories come from real life. Personally I don’t watch the news, but I have seen my share of “Lifetime” movies. And those are always based on real events.
1xRun: How long did these pieces take to create?
Mary Williams: All 15 or so were done in about a month. I would work on them on my days off, which was about 3 days a week. Usually I did 3 or 4 at a time because I had to let parts of them dry. 1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Mary Williams: I have an unbiased view on weapons. These pieces were created to document a country in conflict with itself, from personal to epidemic situations. They are a sign of the times; well drawn and without the gore. Like them or hate them, they are relevant.
1xRun: Describe the print in one gut reaction word.
Mary Williams: Bang.1xRun: When did you first start making art?
Mary Williams: I started drawing when I was a young girl. I never stopped. I’m looking at my first piece of art right now. It’s a blue pinch pot I made out of clay in kindergarten. The boy next to me stuck his thumb in it to make it deeper. That really pissed me off.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Mary Williams: It was Georgia O’Keeffe that got me started painting and drawing. She worked her whole life in her own style and always hovered above categorization. Early 20th century American art still inspires me. O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, the 291 group, the Precisionists, they all made work that is just timeless to me. One more recent artist I really like is Sandy Skoglund. Drawings prints, sculpture, photography, she does all that and she does it really well. Plus she is quirky and fun. And Edgar Jerins is my drawing hero. 1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work?
Artist: I listen to Fiona Apple a lot. I saw her last summer. She draws as well. I also listen to Aimee Mann, Diana Krall, Jem, and Nikka Costa. Also I really like Beck, Muse, the Beastie Boys, and the Afghan Whigs. I joke with my husband that I have a thing for Chris Cornell; his solo stuff is my favorite. My musical tastes are stuck with my younger self in the eighties and nineties. And sometimes I love to listen to Chopin.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Mary Williams: I think I would have been able to work with Joseph Cornell. I read that he was quite introverted, like myself. Maybe after making work together, we might attempt a conversation. Or not. 1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last?
Mary Williams: In college I bought a really nice cup made by someone in the ceramics department. I took ceramics, and I was really terrible at it. I keep the painful-looking stuff I made myself in my studio, and I keep the nice cup out in the kitchen where people can see it. I got a wonderful collage piece from a woman at the D.I.Y. festival in Ferndale last summer. I can’t remember her name, but she called them “Nests” and I wanted them all. It was just found objects plus things she found in nature that she fashioned into a little homey scene. The detail is just amazing.
1xRun: What other plans do you have for 2013?
Mary Williams: I have this dream of being on a book cover or on a frontispiece or somehow having my work accompany a piece of literature. One of my friends is trying to make this happen. So we’ll see. I’m also working on a series of portraits from some old photos I got in Oregon last summer. And I have more ideas for guns. Guns and cats.
1xRun: Where else can people find you?
Mary Williams: – Facebook –