As I was looking for a name for this art series, I came across the word “Ustopia” by Margaret Atwood. She defines it as “the imagined perfect society and its opposite - each containing a latent version of the other. In addition to being a mapped location, Ustopia is also a state of mind.”
This series, “Ustopia”, is an examination of the tension and the possibilities of American life. These times have been a fountainhead of inspiration on matters of equality, race and social justice.
Not quite neo-dadaism, “Ustopia” is a reclamation of the true Dadaist ideal. Despite the fact that I am utilizing modern materials and aspects of iconoclasm, the primary thrust of the work is to challenge and upend our lofty sensibilities and raise difficult questions about American society.
I could not create an American flag series without acknowledging the enormous impact and iconic influence of Jasper Johns. I wanted to recalibrate that conversation in accordance with current events. I began the first three pieces in 2011, highlighting the issues of immigration, politics and religion and as things escalated politically, so did the inspiration for my work.
BIOGRAPHY WILLIAM SORVILLO
William Sorvillo believes that “art is capable of three things: if it’s good, it’ll make you think; if it's great, it will make you feel and if it is genius, it will inspire.” Driven by his passion for authentic expression, his work has been described as both emotional and neo-expressionism.
Sorvillo began his artistic studies at the age of six. At age fifteen he began having prophetic dreams and visions of paintings which continue to influence his work to this day. Much of his artwork contains spiritual and religious themes, perspectives on social and civil rights issues, love and loss.
The son of an Episcopal priest, Sorvillo's spiritual upbringing and desire to find his own truth have led him to study with Lakota Medicine Men in South Dakota, Buddhist monks in Japan, yogis in the caves of the Himalayas and a shaman from Peru. He has lived with Hindu swamis in the south of India where he taught tantric yoga, and with the Augustinian Monks of San Gimignano in Tuscany, where he intensified his study of the Renaissance Masters in the nearby city of Florence. He also became a nationally certified Doctor of Oriental Medicine while working with galleries and painting in Santa Fe, NM.
Sorvillo presently lives and paints in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. His artwork continues to expose his unbridled curiosity and reflect his unwillingness to acquiesce to traditional expectations.
Llegado" (flag with workhorse ), 2020
Flag with workhorse
27 × 33 × 44 in
68.6 × 83.8 × 111.8 cm
Untitled (The Gate), 2020
36 × 43 in
91.4 × 109.2 cm
The Shroud, 2020
Acrylic on 8 Gauge vinyl
60 × 37 in
152.4 × 94 cm
Still Life With Strange Fruit, 2020
35 × 36 in
88.9 × 91.4 cm
Mixed media and acrylic on canvas
39 2/5 × 39 2/5 in
100 × 100 cm
Untitled (Condemned sign), 2020
33 × 27 in
83.8 × 68.6 cm
State of the Union, 2020
Mixed media on drywall
60 × 25 in
152.4 × 63.5 cm