Inliquid logo
Member Highlight
April 10, 2023

Member Spotlight: Jed Williams

About the Author
Danielle Hanlon

Danielle Hanlon is the Communications and Social Media Manager at InLiquid. With a background in content creation, Danielle has a love for storytelling in all forms and a passion for learning more about the people and world around her.
See the exhibition here

InLiquid Member

Jed Williams is an InLiquid Member whose work is vibrant and captures the vastly different emotions and psychological states of being. In his own words, Jed describes his work as “existing in a liminal zone between, on the one hand, joyful, occasionally cacophonous explorations of different types of color and mark-making; and, on the other, an ongoing investigation of the subconscious psychological states of mind.”
This month we wanted to get to know him, understand a bit more about his practice, and what he’s currently working on. Scroll down to see a selection of his works and read our interview with him.
"The great leap", ink and watercolor on toned paper, framed 17''x21.5''
"Love is the devil", oil on canvas, 24''x48''
InLiquid: How and why did you first start making art? How did you first develop your skills?
JW: I really got seriously into it around 10 when I would draw my parent’s friends at parties.  I developed my skills by going to a lot of shows in Paris, where I went to grade and High School (or “college” and “Lycee” as you say in French).  After a few years of going to a liberal arts school, Wesleyan, I realized their art department was a bit lacking so I went “back” to Philly as I was born here, and have many family connections here.  In Philly, I attended U. Arts (no comment-altho I did enjoy my electives like tap dancing) and then glorious PAFA.
"Peace and Love (Mir I Lyubov) to all demons and goddesses", oil on canvas. 40''x30''
"Ground Control to Mayor Tomski", encaustic, 10''x8''
InLiquid: How do you feel your style and practice has evolved over time?
JW: Well that’s really hard to say but I remember I used to be almost overly obsessed with “how” REALISTIC paintings and very smooth fantasy illustrations were made.  Haha i would always be the last one to leave a museum show etc  For a while I would make abstracts on one side, old-master style realism on the other.  Now however I am more successful, I think, at mixing it all together, so to speak.
Lately, this past year, I have been influenced by a lot of minimalism and low-brow, and pattern based work.  It is a constant stew of styles.  I am discovering now that I especially like juxtaposing pure line work often with markers or sharpies-in repetitive “pattern zones” with elusive simplified figure-based forms and percussive flat color shapes.
InLiquid: Is there a specific environment or material that's integral to your work?
JW: I love  being out in nature.  Also places full of history.  The biggest material influence in my work is acrylic paint, oil paint and most often I find myself involved in the line as in drawing.  Also drawing is so much fun and very portable.  There is an amazingly cathartic element to ink –you can’t go back. Or erase!
"Aphrodite at the beach", mixed media on paper, framed 25''x19''
"Loki (Norse god of Mischief) casts a spell", 15''x12''
InLiquid: You mentioned that you’re working on a new series, “Demons and Goddesses,” can you tell me a bit about that theme? Is there anything else you’re working on at the moment?
Well the theme was influenced by my growing attraction to spirituality and especially buddhism as well my observing the current swing towards illustration in the art world.  This is sort of an aesthetic homecoming for me, as I grew up in Paris, France and was exposed to many illustrators from the 70s and 80s .  Especially Siudmak, Frank Frazetta and Chris Achilleos.   However they were very centered on a smooth, almost classical paint surface.  Many only used airbrush.  I loved them as well as photo realists such as Edith Flack and Richard Estes for the smoothness of their art handling.
"Demons and Goddesses” is an ongoing mixed media art series about myths and legends which have affected me profoundly, as well as about  the ever-changing dynamic between diverse expectations of how women and men should be portrayed in art.  Demonic seductive urge vs women as supposedly unattainable objects of male (and female) desire– are these stereotypes shaped by society/advertisement etc or by actual subconscious desires rooted in  instinct, which then become absorbed and used by mass media?
At the moment, I’m working on more drawings which I will probably exhibit on May 20th of this year at Crown of Creation on 5th Street, near South Street.  Including a new series based on my reaction to gun culture in the USA.
"Confusion so sweet", mixed media on canvas, 20''x22''
"Aphrodite on Patmos", oil and acrylic on canvas, 48''x37'' framed
InLiquid: You’ve mentioned before that your work is an ongoing investigation of the subconscious psychological states of mind. What drives you to take on a subject such as this? What is challenging about it?
JW: I have had a lot of very hard mental health problems for one, sometimes I think my art is a way of processing them… but also I am reacting to (and perhaps against….) a certain social-media induced frenzy of overly formalist art styles (neo-geo, pop surrealism etc.).  I try to make people aware of the raw energies at play in feelings and the beauty of accepting one’s feelings and emotions just as they are.
InLiquid: Out of all of these works, which is the one you feel most connected to and why?
JW: I feel the most connected to “The Birdwatcher” because it is really I think it is a  synthesis between my pure colorism and an effective, tight  composition.  It can be interpreted in many ways I think.  Both figuratively and as abstract shapes.  Also I was inspired by another artist whose work I had just seen on an Instagram post, which makes a lot of sense considering I have trying to be more inventive, also look at more diverse artwork.
"The birdwatcher", oil on canvas, framed 40''x30''

You can learn more about Jed Williams by visiting his website You can see an additional interview of Jed as part of WHYY's "You Oughta Know" program. His interview premiers on Friday, April 14, at 7:30 PM on WHYY-TV.

No items found.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is the start of the list
This is the end of the list

Related News