Past Resident

William Eli Elkin

A mixed-media artist from Miami, Florida who works with idea of the reappropriation of materials and experiences through the use of a variety of items including found objects, oil and acrylic paint, drawing materials and anything available to the artist.  

The following is stated by William:

I have a wide scope set on the functions of art.  I want to stand in my studio, free of want and stress, yet filled with need for expression.  The need is to create life with my own two hands.  Each artwork is birthed siting the miracle of its own creation.  Each artwork is made in an arena for action.

When describing who I am as an artist in words, I tend to draw a smaller framework than the one I actually fit into.  I started as a painter and draftsman, however several of my pieces are not paintings or drawings.  I make many sculptures and paintings, but I never group them in such categories.  These works are my expressions.  Limiting them to categories would hinder their meaning and their reach.  What is truly different between a sculpture and a painting?  Do they not exist as layers of a whole, formed together by the artist? 

I use several different mediums including wood, acrylic paint, oil paint, charcoal, graphite and mixed media.  I have used many found objects, as both surfaces and application tools, including: leather bags, shoes, wood scraps, assorted tools, paintings, chocolate and strawberry syrup and wood shavings (among many more materials).

Making artwork is a lot like solving a puzzle.  Every piece goes somewhere to make sense of the overall image.  Plug each piece in to see if it will fit until you find the right one.  However, I find my puzzle pieces when my life’s journey leads to them.  I hope to never be cast aside and forgotten.  This philosophy carries on into my work rescuing found objects and incorporating them into artworks surrounding my life’s journey.  These items are abandoned and seen as trash, but they are items of rugged beauty.  They rise to relay my various experiences to the public, whether it be leaving home, growing up, or including the viewer in my inner-dialogue of worry and resentment.  These objects fit specific areas; I just have to find out which ones go where. These rescues are created using the various found objects, wood, mixed media, oil and acrylic paint.  The found object is not limited to the presentation, but also has a hand in the process.  The mediums are applied with hands, feet, sticks, and anything else I can find to make the intended mark.  These pieces exist in “the gap between art and life,” and they do not merely exist on the wall, but instead they include the places they have been in conjunction with the places I have been.  There are no “scraps” in this world, only abandoned potential.  Anything can be art if only called such. 

The notion of what is ideal and what is right for a piece is determined through the hands of the human artist and if he/she is to err then that is proved true in the nature of being.