ArtistRichard A WilliamsResidesUnited States
Divine Feminine
Dark sensuality
Life force
The tragic goofiness of life
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About the artist

Besides having opposable thumbs, Richard A Williams have been an illustrator for many years working for many well-known publishers, and companies. After leaving that field he dabbled in portraiture for a while working for major portrait companies in the U.S.  Later he developed a desire to teach and with the help of “low friends in high places” was able leapfrog from an associate’s degree in humanities to a master’s degree in Illustration and entered the education arena.

Never having had the benefit of formal art training Richard’s views on art and methods may seem scatter shot and quirky. How he managed to get this far he can only attribute to the occasional altruistic individuals Richard has met along the way who gave him aid and comfort and a boost up. 

Artwork Themes & Subject Matter

The major theme in Richard A Williams’ work is “Woman” The Mythical Goddess, the source of life and the dark chthonic sensuality they exude. The Divine feminine suppressed by patriarchal society makes a resurgence in Burlesque. Exquisitely decadent and provocative, and aware of her strength and power over men who are reduced to silly ineffectual creatures bumbling around her.

When puberty kicked in, he was magically transported to the voluptuous realm of female sexuality. The power of their bodies to turn a man’s brain into oatmeal was an awe-inspiring phenomenon and the desire to relinquish his soul to the pleasures of the flesh was quite alarming. Burlesque was long dead when Richard saw his first “girlie show” at the local State Fair. It was, he found out later, a pale reproduction of the genuine article. Yet it fascinated him then, and still does. The sparkling costumes and headdresses, opera gloves, and pasties accentuated the dancers’ sexuality, transforming her into a primal goddess. She conceives and destroys, brings joy and despair, true light and true darkness, wet dreams and nightmares.

The theme of Richard’s work is “Ecce Homo” which is Latin for “your place or mine”. And his mission is to undermine our pedestrian culture, abolish our bourgeois morality and confront the darkest, nastiest, gooiest depths of our souls….or something like that. 

 Every idea or inspiration that comes to his mind he twists, manipulates, exaggerates and push over the top. Innocence is boring and sincerity breeds’ misery. Richard likes his art and women, voluptuous and elegant with a touch of sin and depravity. Burlesque has become a mythical fantasy for him. Women, for thousands of years, have rouged their lips and swayed their hips as they danced their way across the luminous arc of man’s sexual pathology. From Temple Priestess to Burly Q queen, in incarnation after incarnation, they have been the “Constant”, the “Divine Devil”, the “Madonna Whore”, the “Alpha and Omega” which the male species cringes before and is desperate to possess and repress.

 To sum up. Men are the loose change in Mother Nature’s cosmic handbag. There is not enough there to buy anything worthwhile, just enough to be annoying.


Richard A Williams’ paintings have been featured in notable magazines, books and online sources including Beautiful Bizarre Magazine Issue 42 and Illustrators: The Art of Glamour a Pictorial history of the Pin Up Special issue 13, Abrams Art Books, Atlantic Monthly, Aladdin Books, Athenaeum Books, Ballantine Books, Bantam Books, Bill Gold Advertising, Canard Design, Clarion Books, Chesebrough Pond, Cosmopolitan, David C. Cooke Pub., Dell Books, Della Femina McNamee, Double Day, EP Dutton, Esquire, Family Circle, Field & Stream, Forbes, GuidePosts Magazine, Hallmark, Harper Collins, Henry Holt Books, Holiday House, IBM, The Library of Congress, Mad Magazine (Premier Cover Artist 1980 – 1990), MacMillan Press, MS. Magazine, National Park Service, NBC Television, Parents Magazine, Putnam, Reader’s Digest, Recorded Books, Redbook, Scholastic Books, Simon and Schuster, Strathmore Paper, Time Magazine, TV Guide, Women’s Day, Work in the permanent collection of: The Society of Illustrators and The Library of Congress, and Work in the private collections of:  Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Howard Stern.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Group exhibition: “Fables and Folklore”
curated by Beautiful Bizarre Magazine
Copro Gallery
Santa Monica, CA. USA



2007, MF illustration, Syracuse University, NY. United States.

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