Billy Norrby



Billy Norrby
Billy Norrby
April 18, 2016
Art somehow explains a lot that's happening in the world right now. Feel free to contact me at

Virtual worlds and games are quite entertaining and are often very captivating. Especially if you’ve just finished high school. Billy Norrby got his dream job much sooner than he expected, devoting himself to the world of video games. He drew since he was a child, but that kind of job makes you forget things like drawing. Or going to college. The idea of pursuing higher education was on hiatus, a least until the company he worked in crashed. He then moved to New York, and The School of Visual Arts in New York was his ticket into the United States. Only there and then did he realize that art was something he really wants to do, but it took some time to define and crystallize his style.

Billy Norrby - Iron Sky - Silver Transition
Billy Norrby – Iron Sky / Silver Transition

Good Teacher, Bad Teacher

Norrby came to study at The School of Visual Arts with a specific idea of becoming a concept artist, eventually working as a comic book artist or animator. Illustration of the Popular culture was on his mind at the time. It took a small misfortune of his drawing teacher not being so good in comparison to the brilliance of his painting teacher. As someone who had never painted before, Norrby thought that the level of commitment necessary for someone to be a successful painter means that he would have to start learning at a very young age. And he was already over 25, so he never gave it any thought. But after some time and a lot of courses, he began to adopt the idea of being a painter as he gradually dropped the thoughts about a career in illustration. Now he creates fine art based on the classical styles of past eras, but whose story is placed in the future’s apocalyptic environment, where the woman is a strong figure, often unaffected by what’s happening around her.

He wanted to be a comic book artist or animator

Billy Norrby - Electric Transition - Burnt Glass
Billy Norrby – Electric Transition / Burnt Glass

From Video Games to Fine Art

He was born in Stockholm but moved to the USA when his dream job ended. It could be said that his work at the video game company delayed his education and decision to become an artist, but that wouldn’t be the entire truth. Having worked in a relatively large company, Norrby realized that his own personal impact to the final product is a lot less than he wanted to be, and that was one of the reasons that pushed him in pursuit of a solo career. He learned tremendously while he worked there – the most important thing was how to avoid being too direct. A level of subtlety is present, as he gravitates towards painting pieces with a narrative. He’s mastered the storytelling, and now his artworks are multi-layered and complex.

His paintings are complex and multi-layered

Billy Norrby - Black Water - Specters
Billy Norrby – Black Water / Specters

Digital is Seductive

It isn’t easy to escape from the seductiveness of a digital world. Even years after he’d become a painter, Norrby still has the thoughts of switching to digital art. Somewhere along the way, he fell in love with the brushes and materials, canvases – all of that being real, tangible. The feeling of the digital just isn’t the same, so he sticks to a more traditional painting.

He is represented by Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles.

Billy Norrby lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Featured image: Billy Norrby – Sky Cathedral (detail)

All images © Billy Norrby

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Of the VanguardCopro Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2016Asymetrical Dyptich PartyCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2015Infra: RealJonathan Levine Gallery, New YorkGroup
2015Abundantia Cornu Copiae, BreviterStephen Romano Gallery, New YorkGroup
201520 years under the influence of JuxtapozLos Angeles Municipal Art GalleryGroup
2015The Dirty Show, The International Erotic Art ExhibitionDetroitGroup
2015Freaks and AmericanaCorey Helford, Los AngelesGroup
2014Roadside AttractionsCopro Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2014Dystopian VisionsGuild Greene Gallery, New YorkGroup
2014BLAB 2014!Copro Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2014Giants Among usCorey Helford, Los AngelesGroup
2014Suggestivism: ChronologyCopro Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2014AnointOutsiders Gallery London, EnglandGroup
2014Espionage 2Copro Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2014Last Rites, Re-opening Group ShowLast Rites Gallery, New YorkGroup
2014Scope New York Art ConventionCopro Gallery booth, New YorkGroup
2014PulpLazarides Gallery, Newcastle, EnglandGroup
2014Resonating Images IIIWilliam Roland Gallery of Fine Art, California Lutheran University, Los AngelesGroup
2013Miami Scope Art ConventionCorey Helford Gallery booth, MiamiGroup
2013The Stone LikeCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2013The New RomanticsSpace Junk Gallery, FranceGroup
2013Last Rites 5th Anniversary ShowLast Rites Gallery, New York.Group
2013Art Collector starter kitCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2012Miami Scope Art conventionCopro Gallery Booth, MiamiGroup
2012Distant ShoreCopro Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2012Pure drawingSpace Junk Gallery, FranceGroup
2012One hundred dollarsLittlefield Gallery, New YorkGroup
2012Sur-realism: The best in contemporary surrealismArcadia Gallery, New YorkGroup
2012The art of movementCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2012Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with meCopro Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2012FuryLast Rites Gallery, New YorkSolo
2012The Art Fusion ExperimentLast Rites Gallery, New YorkGroup
2012Nocturnes: Romancing the NightGrand Gallery - The National Arts club of New YorkGroup
2011Miami Scope Art conventionCorey Helford Gallery Booth, MiamiGroup
2011Dark WaterCopro Gallery LAGroup
2011Creep in show 4Last Rites Gallery, New YorkGroup
2011Made In Polaroid 50 50 50Philips De Pury Auction House, New YorkGroup
2011Genesis to RevelationCopro Gallery, LAGroup
2011UnknownGallery Snickarbacken 7, Stockholm, SwedenGroup
2011Lucid DreamsNoel-Baza Fine Art Gallery, LAGroup
2011Genesis to RevelationCopro Gallery LAGroup
2011The Grand Reincarnation, Live painting in front of an audienceLast Rites Gallery, New YorkGroup
20115 year anniversary Gala showCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2010Creep-in-dayLast Rites GalleryGroup
2010Beyond EdenCopro Gallery, LAGroup
2010StrayCopro Gallery, LASolo