Sandy Walker

“My work is above all about Consciousness and Vision. It is unapologetically about the old concepts of meaning, truth, and even beauty – concepts which many may feel are trite or obsolete, but which are actually concepts which have driven me to choose a lifetime of being an artist, and which still drive me today. I have a love and respect for the history of art. It continues to be a deep sense of inspiration. Yet I have no patience for [the] repeating of history’s forms or concepts simply for the sake of their own preservation.
I feel no need to break from traditional forms as a means to demonstrate newness as a thing in itself. I seek substance, and even transformation, through all I do in art. That I create art is a gift to me, and I create art with the intent and desire that it be a gift
to others. I paint what I see. I don’t know if what I see is in my head or outside of me – probably both and neither. It is the sensation through my eyes that made me want to paint, and yet so much of what I do comes from another part of me than my eyes. I go to ‘places’ to paint. Places are that important to me. The imagery around me enters my work. I often title my work from the place I did it. I have traveled long ways to paint in places. It’s for the inspiration, not the appearance. I am guessing that these places are necessary only to reflect in me what it is that I truly want to paint. I feel as if I paint almost as if I am blind. I get up close and let my body take over. My eyes are only one of the senses involved. Perhaps I would say it is really the Inner Eye that sees and guides the outcome of my work.”

Sandy Walker was born in Washington, D.C. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Afterwards, he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, and the Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts, Massachusetts, before obtaining his Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University, New York City. Over his forty year career, he has participated in
exhibitions throughout the United States, as well as abroad. His work can be found in private and public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington,
D.C. In 1980, Walker returned to painting in his studio, and focused on the landscape’s essence, resulting in a new pictorial vocabulary at once more abstract and symbolic. Four years later, he and his wife, dancer and choreographer Ellen Webb, settled permanently in Oakland, California. Walker’s long time interest in the figure was reignited
in the late 1990s. This body of work reveals a close relationship between landscape and figure, and compositionally there are occasions in which the two subjects blur. The ensuing ambiguity has been a hallmark of Walker’s work for the past thirty years, at
once enigmatic and sublime.