Lionel Williams

I’d like to think I’m from space — not just outer space. I’m from Los Angeles, actually, a place with no space. I feel like I’m merely dangling in the fantasy of divine things, magic things.This may be the essence of what some people call surreal.

I create surreal art — collages and ambient rock music — that incorporates religious imagery, mystical sensationalism, sacred locations and some psychedelic concepts. I could describe it as sacred- magic-mystical-psychedelic-religious-collage art. I’m influenced by the Middle East, specifically Egypt, Israel and Turkey, and I attempt to fuse the archaic forms of art and music indigenous to those places, while simultaneously achieving a modern aesthetic. I’m also influenced by the psychedelic concepts of great thinkers and philosophers like Alan Watts, Plato and Paul Laffoley. Imperfections inspire me, as do tangibles of the intangible, visual identity of the unidentifiable, poetic process (the opposite of mechanical process), phenomena of the mind, phenomena in general, supernatural experience and communal hippie clichés.

In terms of process, I like observing nature and forming a full concept for a collage before I even start designing, and then I record the scattered ideas on tape. Finally, I re-organize the concept weeks later. I also like making images look far worse and damaged than in their most natural digital state. The process of damage is more revealing to me than starting with a Polaroid or film slide. I tend to manipulate one very specific visual element (like lighting) as realistically as possible, while at the same time manipulating other elements (like perspective) as surrealistically as possible. Therefore, there‘s always conflict, and color is the communion.

I have a musical family. My great grandfather was Johnny Williams, who was an American jazz drummer and percussionist from the early 1930s to the late 1950s. My grandfather is John Williams, who has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in the history of motion pictures, including the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Home Alone and the first three Harry Potter films. I grew up influenced by his brilliant portrayal of theme in music and the transforming of a human essence, or even a situation’s essence, into musical format. He creates a theoretical meeting ground between the cosmos and the human sound spectrum!

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My father is Mark Towner Williams. He was the drummer for Crosby, Stills and Nash, Tina Turner and Air Supply. He played a lot of 80s music when I was a kid, and a few times I was able to perform with Air Supply, the ultimate 80s romantic love smash ballad band. I played keys in Vegas a few times with them when I was 8 and 9. Those count as my first live experiences. I did indeed quit piano at age 10 to play drums, and my talent was subsequently lost … but its role as a gateway to all other instruments is quite astounding to me.

I‘ve been trying very hard to completely develop a musical phenomenon that I call “sonic matrices.” These are, in short, specific combinations of frequencies that positively affect the body and can elevate or fluctuate brain waves, blood pressure and other factors. I try to attain this while avoiding making monotonous meditation music.

I want my artwork to serve many purposes. But the main purpose is undeniably to inspire viewers and listeners to form their own versions of everything, not to mindlessly connect the dots they‘ve been given since birth. I want people to feel driven to add their own colors to their lives, to make something new out of their ideas. My collages are pieces of real life, all swirled together into a cultural portal, and I hope they will motivate other individuals to feel more connected to what is really on this Earth. Though my works may have no linear or preplanned agenda, by intuitive leaps and linkages between my figurative expressions of mysticism, people may be led to new personal insights and meanings. I find this miraculous, as it shows the non-sensory-ness of thoughts, or the stream of consciousness. I’m inviting fascination by providing a platter of esoteric attractions.

It is the compulsion of the supernatural.