Fleeting images

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Knoxville, Tenn.-based Michael Aaron Williams considers himself both a fine artist and a street artist. He travels the word installing pieces of his work in various locations. Like a graffiti artist, Williams’ installations are not necessarily pre-approved.

Unlike a graffiti artist, Williams’ work is removable. He creates pieces in his studio and them affixes them to walls, doors, construction areas and even natural settings. (Go here to see a slideshow of Williams’ work in locations from Brooklyn to Austria.

Williams’ street art focuses on homeless people and children, and his placement of the images (which are extremely lifelike, especially from a distance) in urban and often rundown areas is intended to draw attention to the plight of the homeless.

Williams recently installed a piece in Asheville. Watch a video here:

The Asheville installation, on the back of the Urban Outfitters building, has since been removed. “Because the paintings are of people on the street I also put them on the street where they are exposed to that which can destroy them,” Williams writes on his website. “I want the pieces to have hope, so I don’t glue them to the wall, I simply tape them so that the viewer can take them down and hopefully take them home. So when the pictures are left up, and if no one takes them, they will cease to exist. They will be destroyed and blown away in the wind or other forces that will rip them down and throw them away.”

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts writer and editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs.

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