Born in Texas in 1956 and raised in a small town in Michigan, William DeBilzan was never exposed to fine art while growing up. As an adolescent, William developed a love for fashion but not until he moved to California would his life-long artistic exploration finally manifest.
Southern California provided a deep, cultural awakening DeBilzan had not yet experienced but craved in his youth. He opened his first gallery in Laguna Beach and later received the 1999 “Event of the Year in California” award for starting the now famed First Thursday’s Art Walk. DeBilzan credits his time in Laguna as a young adult to becoming the renowned abstract expressionist he is today. More than 20 years later, DeBilzan maintains a gallery in Laguna Beach and has a second gallery and studio in Delray Beach, Florida, where he currently resides.
A self-taught artist, DeBilzan began painting abstracts. His curious nature and intuition led to the integration of objects into his canvases – from paper, fabric and metal to any material that inspired him. Often starting with a wash, DeBilzan builds his surfaces in a way that produces a luminous glaze in one area of the canvas and thick, highly-textured impasto layers in another – a range of textures and effects with light, all on the same canvas.
As a father of four, family, love and friendship have had the biggest impact on DeBilzan’s life. Coupled with a desire to share his experiences through painting, his figurative work through stick figures was born shortly thereafter.
DeBilzan’s work has been included in many prominent private and public collections, including The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building in Dubai, and the tallest hotel in the western hemisphere, The Marriott near Central Park. TV and film credits for DeBilzan’s work include: Frasier, Spin City and Burn Notice.
Vision & Inspiration
William DeBilzan is an artist of life and love, who creates work that is reflective of the heart. Based on thoughts and memories of real life experiences, DeBilzan creates multiple forms and mediums of artwork from paintings and murals to sculptures.
DeBilzan approaches each blank canvas with his own unique style of spontaneous creativity. He endeavors to find balance by creating a solid foundation of rich color and bold texture, adding layers of dimension and complexity within each composition.
DeBilzan’s abstract landscapes and figurative paintings are also grounded on a foundation of letters and symbols, adding to the eclectic influences of the Bay Area Expressionists. They evoke calmness and serenity, as well as an escape to a world created through the expressionist’s eyes.
DeBilzan’s abstract compositions spill over into his sculptures, where brightly clothed figures in metal appear to have stepped off his canvas. The elongated abstract figures often stand against a bold background of saturated color. His use of black outline emboldens and highlights the bright primary and secondary palette of his shadow-less world. The abstract figurative elements convey the simplicity of life while the posture, slight tilt of a head and arrangement of an arm elicits deep emotional reflection.
Though free of specific detail, DeBilzan’s figurative work evokes a sense of recognition either of people or places traveled. His faceless figures with obscure origin take on a personality of their own through stance and gesture. They invite observers to step into the paintings and become part of DeBilzan’s story.
The Marriott murals, in particular, also reflect the opportunity and freedom of New York City. A place with deep history and heritage, and beauty and freedom – all reflected in the skyline of the city. A breathtaking rendition of life and love is always conveyed through DeBilzan’s artwork taking viewers to a nostalgic and self-interpretive world.