He attended the Schuler School of Fine Arts, in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, from 1975-1979.
Wilson currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. An illustration by Wilson was featured as the cover art on Michael Jackson album Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix released in 1997.
In June 2008, former Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich Jr. unveiled his official portrait painted by Will Wilson. The two were childhood friends in Baltimore, Maryland. A portrait of Reynolds Price painted by Wilson is held in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Wilson prides himself a master in his craft, and he is not alone in this opinion. His work has been awarded prizes across the United States, and is collected by museums and corporate and private collectors alike. The impact of his work is confirmed in publications such as ArtNews, US ART Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Magazine and American Artist and International Artist Magazine.
Will Wilson is a master of his painting craft, painting slowly and meticulously. He creates between 8-10 works each year, ranging in size from 9 x 10 inches to 70 x 50 inches. He works from life and paints figures, florals, still lifes, animals, and self-portraits. His paintings are tight and precise, working in the tradition of the great Dutch Masters and the American Masters Harnett and Peto.
For Wilson, it is important to observe, then render all his subjects in the greatest detail. His sense of humor is plainly evident for all to see. Each of his works, while inspired by trompe l’oeil traditions of the past, contain contemporary references linking his work to the present day.
His illustrations have appeared in Time magazine, Newsweek, and Money Magazine, as well as CD covers and record albums.
In November 2005, the tenth exhibition of his painting was held at the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco. The largest painting in the exhibition was An Arrangement, which depicted twin brothers arranging huge peonies against a backdrop of a landscape. The scene is complicated and allegorical with the men’s bodies seeming titanic and heroic contrasted with their facial expressions that convey a single personality with two aspects. A serene blue sky is behind one of the figures and a treatening cloud behind the other.
Will Wilson began his career with the John Pence Gallery in 1980. Since then, he staged thirteen highly successful one-man shows at the gallery. In addition to his shows in San Francisco, he has exhibited with Baltimore Life Gallery, Baltimore, MD; Schuler School Of Fine Arts, Baltimore, MD; Salmagundi Club, New York, NY; St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City, MD; Society of Illustrators, New York, NY; Denver Rotary Show, Denver, CO; Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Memorial Art Museum, Rochester, NY; The Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, NY, The National Postal Museum, Washington DC; The Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA; and The Smithsonian, Washington DC.
Wilson is a master of his painting craft. He creates between 8-10 works each year, ranging in size from 9 x 10 inches to 70 x 50 inches. He paints portraits, allegorical figures, trompe l’oeil, and still life layered with narrative. His paintings are tight and precise. For Wilson, it is important to observe, then render all of his subjects in the greatest detail. His work is often whimsical and fantastic, a unique marriage of disciplined execution and a boundless, blossoming imagination. Each of his works contains contemporary references, addressing a multitude of ideas embedded in his meticulously crafted compositions.
Will Wilson has been awarded prizes for his paintings in New York, Maryland, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Virginia, Missouri, and Washington DC. His works have been acquired by museums, well-known corporate collections, and private collectors of note. Numerous publications including: ArtNews, US ART Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Magazine, American Artist and International Artist Magazine have singled out Wilson in articles setting forth his presence as a major force on the American art scene.
Paintings are priced from $9,500 to $150,000. Very few works are available at any one time, so collectors are urged to make their interests known with the gallery staff in order that we might contact you when a work becomes available.
Will Wilson’s work has been offered at auction multiple times, with realized prices ranging from 30 USD to 7,000 USD, depending on the size and medium of the artwork. Since 2012 the record price for this artist at auction is 7,000 USD for Peace Offering, sold at Brunk Auctions in 2012.
Will Wilson has been featured in articles for Hyperallergic, Glasstire and ArtDaily. The most recent article is A Revolution in Contemporary Native American Art Explored at the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College written for Forbes in September 2023.