Antoine Williams

Greensboro, NC


A number of creation myths involve “world-bearing” entities that carry, or embrace, the earth acting as a protector or stabilizing force. Shesha (Hindu), The World Turtle (Hindu), Bahamut (Arabic) and Jormungandr from norse mythology are a few examples.

I am creating a series of drawings reflecting the precarious position of many essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic who, much like creation myth deities, are a stabilizing force in our economy yet bear the brunt of that same economic system. These drawings depict figures that are an amalgamation of hands, clothing and feet, symbols of work, generosity, and stability, but also ones of oppression, subversion and silencing.

Antoine Williams' interdisciplinary practice is an investigation power and perception through the lens of critical race theory. Heavily influenced by science fiction, and his rural, working-class upbringing in Red Springs, North Carolina, Antoine has created his own mythology about the complexities of contemporary Black life. An artist-educator, Antoine received his BFA from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and his MFA from UNC Chapel Hill. He helped start the God City Art Collective in Charlotte, where he participated in a number of socially engaged, community-based art projects. He has exhibited in a number of places, including at the Mint Museum of Art, Michigan State University, Columbia Museum of Art, Smack Mellon Brooklyn, 21c Museum, Elsewhere Museum, The McColl Center of Art and Innovation as well as many other venues. He is also a recipient of the 2017 Joan Mitchell Award for Painters and Sculptors and the 2018 Harpo Foundation Grant Award. Williams is an assistant professor of art at Guilford College.

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