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I visited Sage Willows’ Los Angeles studio on one of those peculiar California days, just as the sun was setting. Before arriving at the studio, I was advised that Willows doesn’t usually take many studio visits and I should be prepared for an eccentric, quiet character. Three knocks and five seconds in, and it seems I was warned correctly.

I am greeted by the overwhelming juxtaposition of colorful paintings and an emotionless Willows. He shows me around his paint-splattered studio filled with dozens of paintings stacked on top of each other. I sit on the sofa as he grabs a paintbrush and starts painting. Thirty minutes pass by without him acknowledging my presence; classical music plays in the background as I fall into a meditative state, watching him paint. I almost forget the purpose of visiting him. A well-timed cadenza snaps me back to reality: I am here to talk to Sage Willows about his fluid camo paintings and see his new series of hybrid fluid camo works.

Photo by Caroline Eyer

Sitting here, surrounded by your fluid camo paintings I feel ecstatic yet very calm. Leading me to ask, do you use painting as a form of therapy?

Sage Willows: Yes

Seeing these paintings in person makes it a million times better. Thank you again for taking time out today to talk about your work.

Sage Willows: Yes

Reading about you online, I came to an understanding that your work is a practice as a spiritual journey that contends with the onslaught of technology, aiming to work against it.

Sage Willows: Yes

Do you leave brushstrokes and sides of canvases dirty to highlight the human imperfection?

Sage Willows: Yes

I love that. I feel a much deeper connection to your paintings/practice after learning about your intentions. By the way, do you take Polaroid portraits of everyone that visits the studio?

Sage Willows: Yes

I see many familiar faces here. Wow. Is this the Barbara Guggenheim?

Sage Willows: Yes

That’s amazing. You’re already in many serious collections/collectors around the world. I don’t think there are any artists your age doing it like you are. Are you looking for representation?

Sage Willows: Yes

I’m guessing that there’s already many galleries interested in representing you. You’re just waiting for the right one?

Sage Willows: Yes

Gagosian, David Zwirner, Blum and Poe, Perrotin… to mention a few. If you had to pick, which one?

Sage Willows: Yes

These are the new hybrid fluid camo paintings you’re working on?

Sage Willows: Yes

Will you still be continuing your fluid camo series while starting this new series?

Sage Willows: Yes

Okay. Will you only be saying “yes” to the rest of the interview?

Sage Willows: Yes

I love that.

Sage Willows: Yes

Thank you. It was such a pleasure meeting you and seeing your work in person Sage. I am thrilled that I am able to be a part of your exciting journey.

Sage Willows: Thanks.

Leaving the studio, I only had one topic lingering in my mind: Sage Willows. Weirdly relaxed, it was as if I had walked out of a long hypnotic trance. Despite him saying so little, I had learned so much about his paintings and intentions. I guess little has to be said when the work speaks for itself.

Photo by Caroline Eyer