William Whitaker is an acclaimed portrait artist and noted art professor and teacher. He is the most often mentioned artist on The Krakens for his influence on the Mormon art community. He as born in Chicago, Illinois to an artist father and has developed a long career with a legion of remarkable paintings. He taught art at BYU for years and currently lives in Utah.
You have painted many of the Church leaders over the years. How would you say the Church’s relationship to art has evolved in that time? The most impressive thing are the great numbers of incredibly young art talents coming along. Our art will increasingly become more sophisticated and of higher quality as the years pass. As a people, we probably have the greatest number of superior talents in all fields and receive the least recognition for it of any group I know.
Jerry Seinfeld once wrote, ‘The female body is a work of art. The male body is utilitarian, it’s for getting around–like a jeep.’ Tell us about your lifelong pursuit of painting the female portraits. Seinfeld said it a lot better than I ever could! His observation about women is correct. It’s almost as if God was practicing when he created man, But got it right when he created woman. I believe that the eternal woman is the most beautiful creation in the entire universe.