Noah McWilliams is a sculpture and video artist that has lived and worked in the Maryland/DC area for over 25 years. Since receiving his BFA from Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in 2017, he has started the MFA program at the University of Maryland and become a founding member of Kicker Collective, a four artist collective based in Washington, DC.
My work is heavily influenced by my family’s conversion to Judaism when I was a child. I grew up steeped in religious and cultural traditions that often seemed to be at odds with each other. The process of coming to terms with my Jewish identity has laid the theoretical groundwork for my artistic practice. I am particularly interested in how culturally agreed upon definitions of beauty are used as tools throughout western narratives to justify the otherwise indefensible. In stories spanning from the Old Testament to Appalachian folk songs, protagonists and villains alike are punished in ways that are so violent and devastating, one cannot help but question the moral authority of the author. My work illustrates cracks in the spellbound beauty of fantasy worlds as cultural assertions of control are presented as moral truths. It grinds suggested narratives to a near halt, transforming them into truncated portraits of dysfunction.