William Albert Pettit III received his Bachelor’s degree in Poetry and Studio Art from the University of Pittsburgh, and his Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Tyler School of Art. His paintings have been shown in Philadelphia, Paris, and Rome. He is a professor of Studio Art at the John Cabot University and Temple University Rome, and collaborates with the Stonehill College Study Abroad Program in Italy.
William Pettit is a painter and poet who also works as a sculptor, musician, photographer and video artist. He lives in the Sabina, in Italy, where he digs, plants, hoes, grows, burns, cuts, chops, fries, boils, bakes, stacks, eats and drinks, smokes, breaks, cooks, picks, prunes, scrapes, ties, waters, stakes, makes paintings, poems, olive oil and wine, builds stone walls and lakes and guitars, ails and aches, spackles, solders, surfs, sails, strums and sings.
He is founder and director of The Bottega Projects conducting research on trade and color, and offering workshops and on site courses and an artists residency in the town of Montebuono. An expert in fresco painting techniques, he has led on-site public reproduction projects in Istanbul, Sicily, Perugia, and in the Sabina.
William Pettit’s poetry has been published in literary journals such as TO: O-blek, South Road, Phoebe, POM, and digitally, in VERSE, since 1992. His first book of poetry, Ghost Songs, was published by Casagrande Press in 2009. He is in the process of co-authoring two more books. His has made short films and his music is featured in several others.
Pettit’s recent work deals with cosmic, biological, and geographical phenomena. He has worked with tonal and spatial compilations, and equivalents between visual and sonic languages. He has collaborated on multimedia projects with other artists, composers, and scientists.
Pettit often works with traditional homemade pigments and supports, and has given lectures and presented papers on this research.
“I have considered myself an abstract painter, a landscape painter, and a painter of meat. The work can be formal, figurative and conceptual, and these genres are not exclusive. They are all considerations on the body, the physical and spiritual body in time and space. These can be very literal landscapes of location, or more cosmic drawings of solar systems, they may address the carnal, sexual body, the aging body, it’s primal desire of survival and consumption, or the transcendent, spiritual body. A simply Cartesian body. The painting’s form reflects this in a balance of craftsmanship and chance, where process determines product. There is a formal tension and a lyrical abandon. Romantic swords battle stoic materialism. The carnal becomes sublime, process surrenders to reason, leaving behind much evidence of the transformation…”