Born Queens, NY, 1951.
in a world filled with insipid, gimmicky and ultimately boring video art, bill viola stands out as not only an early pioneer of the medium, but now a fully mature master, who as understood the power of the moving image as a stand alone art piece like no other - it's not a painting, it's not a movie, it's fully itself, and all the more overwhelming for it.
he weeps for you, 1976
this was the first bill viola piece I ever saw, while still a student in a small london gallery called 'the haunch of venison yard'. it opened my eyes to the possibilities of video art, the tension, the immersion, the moment. sadly the video quality isn't great but it captures the moment well enough.
tristans assension, 2005
this piece really celebrates that vertical energy that we see in so much baroque art, the idea of heaven above and earth below, and the possible connections between.
the raft, 2004
here we have a strong horizontal form, more evocative of caravaggio, as one of the youtube commenters put it 'a thousand paintings in one' and incerdibly moving moment.
the deluge, 2002
in this piece the play of liquid and solid is what caught the eye.