William Quigley received his BFA at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and MFA at Colombia University. He also attended Tyler School of Art in Rome and University of Pennsylvania studying art, history and film. In 1985, before attending Graduate school, Henry McNeil, one of the most influential collectors in contemporary art and then owner of the McNeil Gallery in Philadelphia, launched Quigley’s career in a show with Andy Warhol, in an exhibition titled “Images of a Child’s World”. Warhol had collaborated with art dealer Bruno Bischofberger publishing 153 small works for the exhibit. It was Warhol’s last show before his untimely death in 1987.
Under the influence of instructors of iconic artists and thinkers such as Lee Krasner, Alice Neel, Walter Darby Bannard, Laurie Anderson, John Yau, Jane Wilson, Dale Chihuly, Tom Butter, Clement Greenberg and Mark Tansey etc, his work has fluctuated back and forth between abstraction and figurative painting over the course of his career. While in Grad School through McNeil Gallery he started showing in downtown NY galleries and making a name in clubs with downtown art stars like Basquiat, Haring, Pat Steir, Richard Hambelton, Julian Schnabel, Christof Kolhofer and Joseph Nectval.
In 1989 Quigley moved to LA and began working with Manny Silverman Gallery exhibiting with artists like Willem DeKooning, Joan Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg, Sam Francis, Ed Ruchca, Ed Moses, and Michael Goldberg. In 1992 met Ferran Cano, who was head of the Miro Estate and Ernst Beyeler, founder of Art Basel, at the Los Angles Art Fair. Cano and Beyeler invited him to exhibit in Art Basel ’92 with Galeria Ferran Cano. Cano then offered him to paint for a year at the Miro Foundation in Mallorca, Spain. He made 44 works in 8 months selling out the show before returning back to the US.
After returning to LA in 1994 he opened an artist run AB Gallery in 2 mini malls on Robertson Blvd and Highland and Sunset that were directed by private art dealer Dan Bernier, selling to some of the top collectors in LA.
Although not yet having many museum shows or auction records to date, most of the success has come from ambitious, unconventional avenues that have led to amassing over 450+ devoted collectors. His paintings are collected globally. In 2004 was his work was featured on ABC tv “Life of the Rich and Famous” and in 2007 he was named by VH1 as Visual Artist of the Year. He has painted commissioned portraits of, and often for, Presidents Trump, Bush and Clinton, Audey Hepburn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Shaq, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Robert Downey Jr., Muhammad Ali. In 2019, Quigley’s 2006 controversial Donald Trump portrait, purchased by future President in 2013, became the most talked about story across the entire international art and news world. In 2020 he was working on a special piece for Kobe Bryant when the tragedy occurred. Quigley met Kobe in 1996 in LA, he says: “because of the history, it was one of the hardest paintings I ever had to finish, I wanted to just stop time, but to honor his legacy battled through the emotions to try and make it great. Like he was. Go out strong. ”
His work is represented by AB NY Gallery, Julie Keyes Fine Art, and Karl Hutter Fine Art.