As a child, Bill Hayward traversed thousands of miles of American highway, peering out the window from the backseat of his father’s 1940 Chevy. On the road, Bill and his sister, Janet, embarked upon an epic imaginary journey , making believe they were “chasing dragons” through vast, shifting landscapes. This playful, childhood undertaking has had a profound impact on the life of the prolific multimedia artist. For more than fifty years, Hayward has endeavored to bring light, through his art, to the strange and wondrous forms that lie hidden beneath the surface of things, revealing what is left over when conventions fade away.
Presented here is a stunning visual autobiography, chronicling more than five decades of artistic vision. In this impressive, autobiographical tour de force, artist Bill Hayward presents more than five decades of visual artwork alongside his own personal narrative—his musings on childhood experiences, moments of epiphany, and the fragments of literature that have inspired him along the way.
Arranged in five acts, Chasing Dragons: An Uncommon Memoir in Photographs traces the evolution of Hayward’s work—from traditional portraiture to increasingly abstract and altered images, figurative paintings, dance, performance, and film.
Over the years, Hayward has turned away from objective, photographic representations, choosing instead to mine the depths of the human psyche, conveying something elemental, even primordial. Often shrouded, spooky, or distorted, these images are evidence that Hayward is both a master artist and skilled psychoanalyst. Chasing Dragons tells the story of one artist’s quest for self-discovery and new modes of expression—inspiring the same spirit in his subjects and all those who encounter his work.
Chasing Dragons: An Uncommon Memoir in Photographs
Hardcover, 8 ½ x 10 3/8 inches
240 pages, 346 original four-color photographs