Bill Abdale


Bill Abdale was born in New York in 1984 and grew up in Buffalo, NY. He received his BFA from Purchase College in 2006 and is currently working on his MFA at Hunter College. Through a combination of printmaking, drawing, and various other media, Abdale addresses issues of information/disinformation, power and its subversion, appropriation, subculture, and mediation in works that are characterized by starkness, physicality, and sardonic humor.





“…Our response is triggered by what we are told, not by what is there.”
- Genesis P-Orridge, lead vocalist of Throbbing Gristle

“In the order of criminal justice, knowledge was the absolute privilege of the prosecution.”
 - Michel Foucault, Discipline & Punish

                  The control of information confers power.  Coded messages are used in the service of motives of variable moral certainty.  An advertising agency serves the same purpose as a propaganda machine or a mission: to render products desirable to consumers, whether the products are goods or ideologies, operating through scale and public spectacle.

On the other hand, alchemy, black magic, and underground punk (or metal, industrial, etc.) music enact a subversive empowerment through concealment and secrecy. Information buried beneath double meanings and iconography becomes a hidden body of knowledge, used by initiates to circumvent scientific, social, and artistic laws.

In my work, these different (but not always opposed) approaches to power collide in diverse methods of drawing, collage, and printmaking that emphasize severity and mystery. I use imagery to trigger responses, much in the way that both propaganda and hermetic texts function, as well as the intentionally problematic content of extremist rock bands like The Brainbombs and Throbbing Gristle.  The work is not intended to pictorially represent a world; rather, these are images to be passed through: the rally, the rock concert, the holy book, the secret formula, the slogan, the hit single, the street team, the come-on, the cop, the oratory, the tabloid, the altar, the poster, the free cigarette, the spam email, the encore, the sermon, the security camera.