Bill Viola Characteristics

Bill Viola has been described by critics as developing an environment that totally immersing the viewer in both sound and image. On Artthrob, Candice Breitz describes Bill Viola's The Greeting as "it prompts you to think about the relationship between photography and start to feel a collapse of the border between painting and photography." This is an amazing compliment for a critic to give to an artist. He achieve the feeling of a painting by letting you be able to stand in front of the work and feel what Viola was trying to portray. John Haber says, "Bill Viola makes illusions but does not believe in them. He depends on a lens, the lens of his video camera, but he wants to startle the viewer out of illusion. He wants to bring art back to a more primal humanity." Again he is described as working in a way many film makers and artist have lost. Bill Viola allows the audience to get in touch with emotions and╩make a╩soulful connection╩they may have been disconnected with. This leaves╩you with an internal and personal╩dialogue that can transform.

Bill Viola emulates the style of impressionist artists of the late 19th century, such as Claude Monet. This style pays close attention to the importance of light and emphasizes the changing quality of light. The subject matter is usually realistic and taken from unusual angles. In Search Light: consciousness at the millennium it says "There is a deep, blurry realm of consciousness where images slowly form, begin to resemble something you know, then sink back into your unconscious." (page 87) Bill Viola envokes our imagionation and allows our eyes to develop more then he literally shows the viewer.
--Jessica Bock, 2006.

Bill Viola