Color Space Series
William Betts bold new color abstract paintings create a harmonious balance marrying freeform veils of color with the structures imposed by the technology and process. Until this series, Betts’ work has been photographically based mediated through the filters of technology and process. For these works, Betts takes a different approach, creating abstract color compositions that he then manipulates through a set of filters and tools to rationalize the composition and apply a cohesive structure to the work. By using a highly reduced color palette and ordered dithering to simulate the color nuances in the original image, Betts establishes forced constraints that embrace and highlight the technology used to realize his vision while significantly complicating the creative process. The ordered dithering used to represent the color transitions provides an interesting aesthetic mediation that is both reminiscent of a specific time in image processing and imparts a regularity that contrasts the freeform nature of the image itself. Ironically, without an image to hide mistakes and imperfections, the process requires constant monitoring and adjustment by the artist bordering on obsessive. The resulting work achieves a new aesthetic highlighting both the organic and spontaneous origins and its mechanized and controlled realization.
Betts is using complex industrial processes to create paintings that reflect the possibilities for an analog medium in a digital age. These paintings are executed in an elaborate and time consuming proprietary technique that Betts developed for applying small drops of paint with a high degree of accuracy utilizing linear motion technology and my on proprietary software he developed specifically for this purpose. Each painting has between Thirty-Six and Fifty-Eight Thousand individually applied drops of paint with each drop representing a single pixel from the source image.
William Betts had a career in tech industries where he established proficiency in computer language and programing. From this, he uses complex industrial processes to create paintings that reflect the possibilities for an analog medium in a digital age. Betts uses his own source material (photographs/videos) as data sets to be examined, sampled, re-contextualized, manipulated and represented. He is typically less interested in content and more concerned with the structural and social aspects of the image.
William Betts was born and raised in New York City, resided in Houston Texas, Miami FL and is currently based in rural Connecticut and Mexico. In 1991, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, Studio Art-Cum Laude from Arizona State University, William Betts has exhibited throughout North America and Europe and in the 2019 Biennale De La Habana, Cuba. His artwork has been featured in the group exhibition, Rasterfahndung (Tracing the Grid), Kunstmuseum, in Stuttgart, Germany, in the Arlington Museum of Art, The University of Texas, The Salt Lake City Art Center, The University of Wisconsin, Eau-Claire, and the Albuquerque Museum. His selected Bibliography includes The Creators Project (video interview), June 2016; Politician, Københagen, Photo Essay, March 28, 2016; Kinetic, Art from Polsinelli Art Collection, Privately Published 2015; Victoria Machmudov, Under övervakningsradarn, Konstperspektiv, Sweden, June, 2014 and Rasterfahndung (Tracing the Grid), Kunstmuseum Stuttgar (Show Catalog). He was named New American Painting Annual Prize winner in 2011 and featured in issues #60, #72, #84, and #96.