Larry Willis Answers the YabYum Seven

"Pop Princess", acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36", private collection. All photos courtesy of Larry Willas

“Pop Princess”, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36″. All photos courtesy of Larry Willis

1. Who are you and what do you do?

I am Larry Willis, I paint in acrylic mainly. I also take photos and do conceptual art. I was born in Phoenix and now live with my wife Patsy in Chandler. My work spans nearly three decades. I attended art classes at Phoenix College in 1967-68 but am basically self-taught. I was part of the seminal contemporary art scene of Phoenix in the early 1980’s. Besides having had thirteen solo shows in Arizona, I have had work exhibited at dozens of galleries, art centers and museums from California to Maine and in collaboration with French artist Gregory Bouctot Charneau in Paris. I was twice selected to show at the Southwestern Invitational Exhibition and also selected two times for The Arizona Biennial at the Tucson Museum of Art.

"Lunch With Barbarella", 48” x 48”, acrylic & silver leaf on canvas

“Lunch With Barbarella”, 48” x 48”, acrylic & silver leaf on canvas

2. How did you get your start?

I have always drawn. After spending time perusing the rock & roll dream in the 1970s and placing my creative outlet there, I began to paint and exhibit in the early 80s. for a time I did illustrations and returned to my own work a few years ago.

3. What inspires you?

My main inspiration comes from popular culture, the era of the 60s, art history and Paris.

4. What do you like about AZ?

I like the climate in Arizona, I was born here, had my brain fried, so never left. I also like Arizona history, that’s what got me doing illustrations and writing for True West Magazine.

5. Where can we see you(r) work?

My work can be seen at various galleries around Phoenix. I recently had a solo show at Willo North Gallery. I have 1 painting at Legend City’s Chaos Theory Show (Friday, October 17). Online I am at &


“CREAM; Homage to T.C. Cannon”, 48” x 48”, acrylic & copper leaf on canvas

6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?

Die?. I want to keep creating. My dream list is living in southern France.

7. What is your mantra?

I got into Transendental Meditation some time back, but was told not to say my mantra aloud, (what a load…) I don’t do TM anymore, relaxation is good though, just stay laid back all the time. If I was to have a mantra it would be LOVE…says it all (so did Robert Indiana), just live it.


The Illusion of Importance

“The Illusion of Importance”, 48” x 48”, acrylic & copper leaf on canvas, Collection of Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum

"The Anglo-American Alliance", 48” x 48”, acrylic on canvas

“The Anglo-American Alliance”, 48” x 48”, acrylic on canvas

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