Weaving Suburbia into Art with Cul-de-Sacs

In the dynamic realm of generative art, Willard emerges as an artist who skillfully marries traditional motifs with groundbreaking techniques. His latest endeavor, Cul-de-Sacs, redefines suburban landscapes through the nostalgic lens of American folk art, presenting an intriguing blend of the past and the present.

Ordinary, With a Twist

Cul-de-Sacs is anchored in Willard's captivation with everyday sceneries, which he reimagines into minimalist territories rich with poetic nuances.

“I’ve always had a fascination with ordinary places and ordinary structures because they have this way of being familiar, even when you see them for the first time.”

Drawing inspiration from early 20th-century American folk art, particularly in its distinctive flattened representation of space, he infuses these elements into the contemporary suburban milieu.

“By focusing on the cul-de-sac, which is a quintessential emblem of sprawl, the algorithm generates scenes that are immediately recognizable and even familiar, especially for those who grew up in the suburbs. However, when these suburban landscapes are reframed through the simplified, flattened language of folk art, they suddenly become uncanny and surreal.”

The result is a fusion of the known and the unknown, striking a nostalgic chord with anyone familiar with suburban life.


The Artistic Process: A Journey of Exploration

Willard’s approach to Cul-de-Sacs balances spontaneous gestures with precise refinement. His process begins with rudimentary sketches, exploring geometric relationships and mathematical principles, before progressing to digital code. His travels have also contributed to pivotal breakthroughs, underscoring the unpredictability of his artistic journey.

Diverging from the norm, Willard’s process is rooted in art and design more than technology. In Cul-de-Sacs, this translates into developing algorithms that emphasize repetition and conceptual depth, steering generative art towards uncharted creative realms.

“Unlike code purists, who may be interested in the visualization of algorithmic relationships and the beauty of mathematics, I’m more interested in using code as a new medium for storytelling and world-building.”

‘The World We Build’ by WILLARD. The artist’s pseudonym is a reference to Sherwood Anderson’s 1919 anthology, 'Winesburg, Ohio.'
‘The World We Build’ by WILLARD. The artist’s pseudonym is a reference to Sherwood Anderson’s 1919 anthology, 'Winesburg, Ohio.'

Redefining the Mundane: Willard's Tapestry of Everyday Narratives

Willard is set to continue his exploration of ordinary landscapes, drawing motivation from the ubiquity of everyday environments. Influenced by artists like Bernd and Hilla Becher and Ed Ruscha, and writers like Sherwood Anderson, his ambition is to transform commonplace settings into a new perceptual experience for the audience.

Cul-de-Sacs transcends being merely a generative art project; it's a narrative woven from the fabric of daily life, intersecting generative art, traditional aesthetics, and contemporary storytelling.

See more pieces from the collection here.

Subscribe to Foundation
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
Mint this entry as an NFT to add it to your collection.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.