The Art of Bill Viola – Visions of dreams

WHEN he was six years old Bill Viola, now the grand old master of video art, almost drowned on a boating trip.

What he saw at the bottom of the lake was, he said, “the most beautiful world”.

“I sat at the bottom, completely relaxed and I just was waiting—I said to myself, ‘Ok , this must be the next thing.’ And then my uncle realised I wasn’t on the raft and pulled me out.”

The incident, he says, has shaped the kind of art he creates.

“Everything to do with water always is very very connected to me. I have a real affinity towards it. And that’s how my art started, really. And of course when you’re a painter (I was painting in art school), guess what? You’re using water.”

Nic Cha Kim

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