David Willardson is a creative force of the “Pep Art Movement,” an innovative new genre where cultural icons are rendered with an unprecedented infusion of color, personality, and energy. Unlike traditional “pop art” however, the subject’s of Willardson’s “pep” imagery are not soup cans or Brillo boxes; they are classic Disney characters. “They were my childhood heroes” Willardson remembers. “I never lost that.” The images in his work express an untapped inner verve bubbling within, giving us a sacred glimpse into their technicolor souls. “And they do have souls,” Willardson says of his subjects.
“I certainly am a product of the pop art movement,” Willardson professes, “but I also have a great love for action painting, which originated in the 1950s with Jackson Pollack and a number of other artists. Action painting is about movement, action and boldness in the painting. I have amalgamated pop art – which deals with pop culture imagery – and action painting, which is really energy painting.” The result is a new genre that packs an energized visual wallop.