|Wednesday 15 October 2014
London – The American artist LG Williams has just exhibited a new artwork in conjunction with Frieze Art Fair Co-Founder Matthew Slotover’s, “impassioned defense of millionaires flooding into London this week to buy artworks by established and rising stars of the contemporary art world.” (“Frieze: Co-founder defends ‘Ikea For Millionaires,” by Nick Clark, The Independent, October 12, 2014)
The artwork portrays the artist, who was included in the 2011 Venice Biennial Internet Pavilion, “signing,” or manually communicating, the gesture of “thanks” or “thank you” in American Sign Language. The artist is depicted with his left hand near his lips, and gesturing it forward towards the 13.8 million millionaires across the world.
Imagine Williams blowing a kiss to all the millionaires across the globe, and you have an accurate grasp of the image.
“There are more millionaires in the world right now than ever before. The United States has the most millionaires of any country in the world, and California has the most millionaires of any state in the nation,” said Williams, who regularly can be found at Paradise Cove, just off The Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, shirtless, barefoot, wearing purple-tinted spectacles, a green LG baseball cap and orange Birdwell shorts.
“After reading the Independent’s article featuring Slotover’s heart-felt plea for the international art community to be grateful to all the art-buying millionaires, I instantly had the beautiful idea to make this artwork,” Williams said. “Really, I can’t think of another established artist in California, or anywhere in the world, more in debt to millionaires for their livelihood (in David Graeber’s full sense of the phrase) than me. Therefore, I should be the first American artist in the international art world to stand up and say to every millionaire in the world: “Thank You!”
“This is my gift, my gratitude to you—all the art-collecting millionaires in the world!” Mr. Williams said.
The eponymous artwork, appropriately entitled “Thank you!” will most certainly become a major art crowd-pleaser, and a permanent fixture of the international art fair circuit in the foreseeable future.
It is worth noting that during his prolonged emerging career, Williams has extended many thanks to his audience, colleagues, patrons, benefactors and sheer luck. Among his earlier expressions of gratitude are: Thank You For Coming! (1997), Thank God I’m Not In New York! (2002), Thank God!… (2002, 2010, 2013 and 2014), Calling All Aliens (2009), To My Benefactors and Supporters (2011), and, most recently, Thank You In Advance (2014).
MacArthur Award winning art critic, Dave Hickey, the so-called “pirate of contemporary art criticism,” applauded the new artwork as “really fuckin brilliant!” He continued, “Williams’ artwork strangely and simultaneously evokes all the beauty, sublimity and generosity expressed in Frieze co-director’s recent interview. This is epic visual art free of any jargon.”
“Ya know what I’m saying?”—Hickey concluded. “Hand it to Williams, this gesture will become the iconic image of the Art-Fair Age, the must-have object that will unite in solidarity every millionaire’s art collection with every other millionaire’s art collection in the world”.
The artwork can be viewed and purchased on the artist’s website: www.lgwilliams.com
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LG Williams and The Estate of LG Williams, Thank You! (Center), Frieze London Installation, October 15–18, 2014