From Emily Macaux’s article for Daily Serving:
Standing before the photographs from Bill Armstrong’s “Infinity” series, resistance is futile. Intense washes of color and uncertain, alluring forms beckon yet elude one’s grasp, and the encounter between viewer and work becomes a question not of looking but, more powerfully, of experiencing. Critical distance is collapsed, vision becomes a channel for sensation, and image expands into an all-encompassing, alternative reality.
Such is the effect of “Film Noir,” Armstrong’s latest exhibition at Chelsea’s ClampArt gallery. A continuation of the artist’s “Infinity” series, “Film Noir” represents a further distillation and deepening of the artist’s singular aesthetic. In the manner of his prior series “Renaissance” and “Mandalas,” “Film Noir” is characterized by dense, saturated color and blurred, suggestive form. The series also elucidates the expressive potential of Armstrong’s distinct approach to image making. Appropriating and collaging images from sources high and low, contemporary and historical, Armstrong re-photographs his material in extreme close-up, with his camera lens set at infinity. The effect is heady, surreal, yet paradoxically contingent on the materials’ of-the-world physicality.