[Artist in Residence] Living in a Mural | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Artist in Residence] Living in a Mural

William Goodman lives his art, all the way down to his toenails—literally. They are painted blue and black with white dots in what appears to be acrylic paint. I notice them fanning out of his pants legs as he sits cross-legged on the floor of his fourth-floor loft in the Fondren Corner building—come to think of it, the blue on his toes and the exterior paint on his building are about the same shade.

At 23, Goodman says it is "great to do what I love for a living." He really lives what he loves as there doesn't appear to be any separation between his professional life as an artist and his social life. Every surface of his loft is covered with his work or the work of friends: murals, paintings and even an azure finger-painting on the wall behind his orange bed. No wonder other artist friends like to hang out at his loft—inspiration hangs in the air like incense.

Not even the furniture is safe—Camel cigarette labels glued and varnished trot around the surface of a low-profile entertainment center from Article. Keith Haring-like geometric figures in pink and white nestle the edges of the TV case. But it all works. There is an orderliness to the space that only comes when all the pieces work together, making art out of the randomness of whim and opportunity. His studio space is on the fifth floor of the building; it is a windowless, small room, "sort of like entering the Matrix," says Goodman. But the whole building is at his disposal—he uses roof space to spray paint and agreed to do signs for Roosters and Basil's as well as any other art needed in the building. In exchange, he gets lots of great food: "I almost never need to leave the building!"

Goodman grew up in Belhaven in Jackson in a household that fostered art as a way of life, not just an adjunct part of it. (His grandmother is accomplished artist and opera singer Edwina Goodman.) After art school in Winston-Salem at the North Carolina School for the Arts, Goodman returned to Jackson and worked teaching mentally challenged adults at Mustard Seed for three years. "I miss Mustard Seed," he says, "but there is only so long you can do it. It was a special time in my life." A long, splatter-painted panel graces the top of his kitchen cabinets, a collaboration with his students. The students were getting bored with their work on paper one day, so Goodman said: "Here's this panel—why don't we paint it?" He is always open to creative possibilities and the next collaborative venture.

A huge bold-colored canvas with a white retro drawing of a man surrounded by the word "TRANSFER" in block letters marks the wall between his sitting area and bedroom. It also marks the first collaboration with his friends "Twiggy" (Jason Lott) and Ginger Williams—the work is signed by The Projectors. They use a projector to display the image, then they put it on canvas using various techniques and media. The mural at Walker's Drive-In on North State Street is an example of their work—the process seems to be as much fun as the final product. "The mural had to be projected at night," Goodman says. "There were people hanging out all night—we even had a security guard."

Transferring images to canvas in multiple ways including silkscreen, liquid emulsion, dark room and acetone is Goodman's current passion. He is exploring works using his photographs of models. "I shoot, load the image on the computer, blow out the contrast and work from that using anything from spray paint to latex house paint." The effect is dramatic, and beyond Warhol's Campbell's Soup cans or Marilyn Monroes; there is emotion and an organic depth to the work while it is still "industrial and raw," the look Goodman is striving for. Color creates the look of "a wall tagged (with graffiti) over the years, now faded." Bolts around the outside of the canvas build on the industrial and urban feel. Could this be the face of a new urban residence style of art for Jackson?

Goodman's company, Enhanced Mixture (enhancedmixture.com), creates transfer images of existing photos or photos taken by the artist for clients. You can also see his work hanging in the Fondren Corner building lobby and fourth floor corridor, Bridges salon, and in his loft, by appointment. Call 331-5142.

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i love it.

josh hailey

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