In Conversations, Sullivan assembles a body of work that explores the portrait as a document of our time. Drawing from his photographs, Sullivan presents moments of intimate and simple pleasures.
In Klaus, for instance, the still life is injected with life. A silver-haired man sits with his head leaning in his hand. Brushstrokes shift the focus from the ornaments in the foreground to bookshelves, Robert Wilson chairs, and a Ralph Humphrey painting behind. Petrova & Mike captures a couple lingering on a bright couch. Their ease is palpable. In Max 2.4.09 Matissean patterns unify the painting as in many of Sullivan’s works, creating a body underneath with a simple line. Recorded as part of Sullivan’s visual diary each of these works retain the spontaneity of the moment.
Billy Sullivan lives and works in New York, where he has been part of the downtown scene since 1968. His exhibitions include a 2007 retrospective at Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, and the 2006 Whitney Biennial: Day For Night. A catalogue of his work has been published by Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, and Regen Projects, Los Angeles. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.