A conversation with William Quigley is almost as exciting as gazing at the scope, range and imagination that one sees when looking at his paintings. One is not sure what to say, or think, but there is no doubt if you check out his collection, you will see that you are looking at something special, something powerful, something you just cannot stop looking at. His talent goes straight into the corners of one’s mind and rattles things. It is no wonder many of the greatest contemporary collectors have privately commissioned and paid Quigley seven-figure sums for commissioned paintings.
Quigley has a broad electric intellectual mind, well trained by Ivy League schooling – with a European finishing touch by studying in Rome at the Tyler School of Art. He has traveled the world. However, his gift to create cannot be taught, it is one that just erupts and then is.
His work has been on exhibit at Julie Keyes’ Keyes Art in Sag Harbor, who while presenting an exhibition of Quigley’s work proclaimed, “Abstraction is one thing, passion is another. Artist William Quigley exhibits both in every single painting he does, and he does both of them perfectly. It is very rare to find an artist that can master both sides of the fence this well. We are proud to have the opportunity to exhibit this body of work. As in the sea of abstraction in New York and the Hamptons, he does and always will stand out.” The presentation of Quigley’s art ends Friday, October 23.
The artist proudly noted that he has “painted three presidents, including the controversial painting of Donald Trump” and many superstar personalities, along with sports stars. He emphasized he is perhaps the artist that “has sold the most million dollar paintings who is not that well-known.” He relayed, “My best works are owned by very private collectors who have no intention of reselling my work at an auction house.”
The data backs him up. It is reported that he has sold portraits of influential figures such as former President Bill Clinton, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, athletes Shaquille O’Neal, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan, Eminem, Audrey Hepburn, Woody Allen, Chris Kyle, Christy Turlington, and more. His most prominent works can be found in the collections of more than 700 influential collectors.
Quigley has a love for the East End, the Hamptons, and its people. He knew Andy Warhol and Willem de Kooning, and even did a show at Warhol’s gallery. “I was young then, I met Andy in Montauk, too,” he shared.
The truth is he is a personality and a painter, he is a thinker and a creator, he has a voice that comes to life with his use of color, his composition of subject and lastly, his vision of what he sees and how he sees it. I suggest you make a point of getting to Keyes Art before his show ends. Call ahead to insure you meet this most interesting and successful artist.
Quigley stressed that this show is dedicated to raising awareness for Captain Braveheart Aaron Hunter and ROHHAD disease.
In 2018, actor Chris Evans commissioned Quigley to create a surprise Avengers painting for his co-star and friend, Robert Downey Jr., who showcased the artwork at a 2019 premiere of Avengers: Endgame. Watch Downey highlight the piece here.
Quigley was extremely touched by the kind gesture, but what really hit home was discovering a video of Downey Jr.’s friend, a young boy named Aaron Hunter stricken with ROHHAD disease. In 2017, the Iron Man star visited the Hunter’s home in England, answering Aaron’s dream, and knighting him Captain Braveheart. The touching story led to the creation of a second Avengers painting honoring Aaron, his family, mother Lisa, and all the families committed to helping others raise awareness and finding a cure for ROHHAD Syndrome. The extremely rare, life- threatening condition severely impacts quality of life, resulting in a daily fight for survival. To find out more about ROHHAD Syndrome and Aaron’s story, visit www.rohhadassociation.com.
Quigley requests that all support and spread awareness for Aaron’s wishes to fight ROHHAD by posting and tagging #GoMadJumpforRohhad.
The special painting of Avenger Captain Braveheart Aaron Hunter will be featured Saturday, October 10 through Friday, October 23.
Keyes Art is located at 45 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit www.juliekeyesart.com.