Billy Reynolds My Portrait With Center of Face Gouged Out 2012

My Portrait With Center of Face Gouged Out. 30″ x 22″. Acrylic on 140 lb Arches Watercolor Paper. ©2012.

Billy Reynolds My Portrait With Left Side of Face Removed 2012

My Portrait With Left Side of Face Removed. 30″ x 22″. Acrylic on 140 lb Arches Watercolor Paper. ©2012.

Billy Reynolds My Portrait, Shirtless, With Right Side of Face, Neck, And Chest Area Flesh Removed to Expose My Insides 2012

My Portrait, Shirtless, With Right Side of Face, Neck, And Chest Area Flesh Removed to Expose My Insides. 30″ x 22″. Acrylic on 140 lb Arches Watercolor Paper. ©2012

Billy Reynolds At the Edge I 2012

At the Edge I, 30″ x 22″, Watercolor on 140 lb Hot Pressed Arches Watercolor Paper. ©2012.

Billy Reynolds Removal of Portion of Skull to Reveal Brain 2012

Removal of Portion of Skull to Reveal Brain. 30″ x 22″. Acrylic on 140 lb Arches Watercolor Paper. ©2012.

Gouged is such an intensely fantastic word isn’t it? This is the latest work by Los Angeles based painter Billy Reynolds.

Billy says that his anatomically inspired subjects (most are self portraits),

Captivate, by reverberating between the familiar and the odd, between the beautiful and the perverse.  I present a stark reality, however sexy or unsettling. I look at the beautiful exterior of the body.  And I look deep within the body, reminding you how delicately put together your body is, by taking the body apart and showing you.

I like this quote by Tom Neely who interviewed Billy back in 2007 which pretty much captures the essence of his paintings,

He doesn’t make pretty art to hang over your couch—he makes paintings that would make people wonder about you if you did. But Billy’s paintings are as beautiful as they are disturbing, and you should hang them over your couch because great art should provoke something in you.

Billy works in oil paint which he says offers “unlimited possibilities” and “is always waiting to offer more to you every time you go to it.”  He used to create every piece of work twice, once as a physical 3D model, carefully constructing every detail, and second as an oil painting, meticulously worked up with layers upon layers of oil paint.  Recently he’s switched to digital and no longer sculpts each piece. But he says that he will always paint traditionally.  There’s no replacement for that.

See more of Billy’s incredible anatomical work at billyreynolds.com!