Billy McGuinness was born on Long Island, lived for many years in Los Angeles, and now resides somewhere in between. He has worked at a preschool on a farm in Iowa, on a lobster boat off of the coast of Maine, and in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. He holds an undergraduate degree from the film school at UCLA.

Personal Statement

Grounded in the human experience, my work moves toward the edges of the material world in a space where ephemerality collides with the hunger for something permanent. Through photography, sculpture, video, and performance, I respond to the unlikely reality of conscious existence, exploring the cycles of decay and regeneration that inform the natural world. Images, objects, and gestures—both literal and abstract—reflect on the spiritual, psychological, social, and political implications of physical instability, how we meet or deny needs, alleviate or exacerbate suffering, do or do not last. Source materials—drips from a rack of soup kitchen coffee cups, Internet downloads, pieces of rusty metal, my own body—are remnants, traces used to chart the territory between the tangible universe and the manifold forces of constant change that animate and define it. Matter, energy, time, and human activity conspire to reveal the interconnectedness of all things—going out of and coming into—being.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.