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Art in the Time of Quarantine: An Interview with Mar Williams

a person posing for the camera

The art of Mar Williams is playful, futuristic and vividly cute to the point of deranged. "Mar Williams works at the intersection of art and technology," says a recent Westword interview, "creating humane, often goth-futurist works, mind-bending murals and installations, and smaller-scale pieces that have been exhibited all over the world." We reached out to the Denver-based artist and hacker to ask them about making art in the time of COVID.

Tell us about yourself.  

I draw tiny wall-eyed cats, and paint huge murals, and sometimes I just _make stuff_. I work internationally as an illustrator, but I'm most interested in my city (Denver), and communities. I have a deep love of hackerspaces, open-source, cats, and queer stuff.

What inspired you to paint the mural on Mutiny Info Cafe (pictured above)?

Mutiny is important. I have a lot of love for it. The inspiration is that despite it being scary out there, we're at one of those moments in history where people are able to see how much power they have, and craft something different. I hope we take the opportunity, so I'm helping the way I know how.

Have you done any other art projects during the quarantine? How has the pandemic affected your art?

I illustrated a short comic written by Ryan Foo. It's an imagining of the future after the pandemic has passed. It's wheatpasted up at Mutiny, or on my Instagram @spuxo, for the curious.

What’s something that’s keeping you positive during these unprecedented times?

Tending to my veggie garden, cooking, and giving my kid the full attention they deserve. I'm lucky that I'm even in the position to do these things right now. A lot more of us ought to be able to, now, and after all this is over.

a person standing in front of a store

Tell us about something we need to check out RIGHT NOW.

My partner Bonnie's band, Bolonium. It's absurd and playful accordion nerd rock. They have a YouTube channel full of fun videos:

Clearly I'm biased, but uh, they're pretty great.

What's something you're really excited to be able to do again after social distancing and stay-at-home orders have passed?

Go out to eat. I'm craving Ethiopian something fierce, and I'm excited to not make so many dirty dishes.

How others can help support artists during and after the pandemic (while being sensitive to the financial struggle most people are in right now)?

That's tough. COVID only put pressure on an existing problem. If you have the ability, buy art, of course.  A bunch of artists (myself included) have a Patreon. That's a good way to kick in a small amount to keep us in steady funds and get something back. Here's me!

a person wearing a costume