William A. Noguera

B. June 17, 1964

William A. Noguera is an American artist and published author who rose to prominence in the 1990’s, initially with his stark black and white hyper-realistic ink compositions that fused his deep subconscious with the harsh realities of his surroundings. These stunning images speak in a vocabulary that balances imagery with hard-edged geometric forms that conveyed his brutal landscapes.

After forty years of the constant oppressive restraints that come when shackled to a prison cell, Noguera’s response has been to unleash a unique form of abstract paintings, sculptures, and imagery with one goal in mind: The destruction of his surroundings, which he accomplishes using the stone, concrete, and pieces of the prison to create his art, weakening the walls in the process. These profound works turn the destruction into creation, expressing the most basic of human emotions of the sort his predecessors, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell would clearly grace with their approval.

Noguera fuses boundaries of the physical with concepts of space, merging painting, sculpture, and architecture, with the captivating power of destruction, redefining conventional methods of artmaking in a synthesizing contemporary interpretation, balancing destruction and creation that rest on the surface. Exposing the vector that keeps these polarities sliding past one another. Creating a tension felt at first glance. Leaving a long-lasting memory of a site of conflict that can only be achieved by taking an idea to the extreme.


Art is the vehicle by which I share the most personal, and intimate inner workings of my subconscious, and conscious mind for everyone to experience.

Whether I am working with a realistic image, or one that aspires toward abstraction in the purest form. It’s very important that my work remain intrinsically idiomatic to its form of expression.

My paintings are visual poems, informed and Influenced by my resistance to the rigid, and restrictive structure imposed upon me. They are the symptom, the physical manifestation of an actualized mind, redefining conventional concepts of space with the need to free itself of it by any means necessary.

It is in the “Need” that I discovered the solution, and took it to the extreme. By transforming the destruction of the walls that surround me into the creation of my art. Where the anxiety of the “site of conflict” overwhelmingly exists, breathes, and comes to life…


  • Bristol University (f.k.a. Kensington College)
    1992 | Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice


  • SF Weekly Best of San Francisco
    2007 | Masterminds Gran Competition (visual arts)


  • 2018 | La Salle University | legal & ethical environment of business
  • 2017 | The Moth Radio Hour | the justice project, community showcase
  • 2015 | Endicott College (corporate social responsibility business ethics)
  • 2014 | Endicott College (corporate social responsibility business ethics)


  • Escape Artist: Memoir Of A Visionary Artist On Death Row (2018) Seven Stories Press, Inc.
  • PRISON Culture
    (2009) City Lights Foundation


  • Ghost In The Material
    2009 | I.F.C. Center Art House Movie Theatre | New York, NY 2009 | TRUE / FALSE Film Festival | Columbia, MO
    2008 | Mendocino Film Festival | Mendocino, CA – Second Release 2007 | Mendocino Film Festival | Mendocino, CA – Debut Release




Ben Trefney of Cross Currents interviews William A. Noguera about his life, his art and his new book Escape Artist.