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SHAUN RICHARDS

Rhetoric

ABOUT

For the last decade my work has broadly focused on community or external incentives,  as well as socio-economic and political matters. I’ve described it as a focus on our complicity  and responsibility for the world in which we live—particularly those institutions, and paradigms  that define contemporary western society. I use the collective nouns “our and we” in this artist  statement, but what I really mean is that it is my own negotiation with these aspects of history,  culture, and current events. Specifically, the narratives within my work deal with identity, social  dynamics, role-modeling, socio-economic/political incentives, artifice, notions of beauty, and  societal norms. I often combine, collage/mixed media, stencils, and traditional painting  methods contrasted with abstraction to impress upon the viewer these complicated issues in a  way that is at times ambivalent, yet intentionally layered. Though nuanced, the imagery is still  technically sophisticated and visually compelling. My work of late has become a bit more  direct, with an effort to not overcomplicate or conflate issues/perspectives.

With the events of the past year—a global pandemic, increasing racial tensions leading  to the Black Lives Movement, and a lack of centralized leadership—the United States populace  is becoming more and more divided. In a highly contentious election year the problems were  especially acute, as the former administration continued to uphold division and self-interest  rather than unity and equity, with ramifications echoing globally and systemically. This series of  new work, entitled Rhetoric, or “language designed to have persuasive or impressive effect on  its audience, but often regarded as lacking sincerity or meaningful content,” it refers to such  polarizing political discourse. I began this work about 8 months prior to the start of the  pandemic and quarantine, and with how quickly events have escalated, I have yet to  reasonably process or even digest the moment. However, these constructions are presented  knowing that many of these issues are not adequately addressed but concurrently exist, and  are often inter-related. In many ways they affect societal relationships and are a litmus test for  our acceptance of what have become rhetorical norms.

Info

February 6, 2021

New Media Gallery

Exhibition

Rhetoric 1 (slide)

2020
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

Rhetoric 2 (jungle gym)

2020
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

Rhetoric 3 (goal)

2020
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

Caucus

2020
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

The Charm

2020
Oil on Mylar

Vegetation

2020
Oil on Mylar

Water Flows Downhill

2020
Oil on Mylar

News Spectacle

2020
Oil on Canvas

Revisionist Histories

2020
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

Canyon

2020
Oil on Mylar

Migrants

2020
Oil on Mylar

Slow Dance

2020
Oil on Mylar

Police Car

2020
Oil on Panel

With Gratitude

AV Metro • Aloft Raleigh • Amanda Maples • Andrea Phillips • Angela Brady • Benjamin Blackwell • Beth Crookham • Celito • Emiene Wright • Glen Medders • Ella Ann and Frank B. Holding Foundation • International Farming Corporation • Kane Realty Corporation / The Dillon • Local Government Federal Credit Union • Lewis R. Holding Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation • Mike Geary • Paul Coggins • Person Street Bar (PSB) • Robert P. Holding Foundation • RAD Graphics • SiteLink • SureWest Insurance Group • Themeworks • The Betty Eichenberger Adams Society • The Derbyshire Family Fund • The Harteld Foundation • William Paul Thomas

Education and community programs are funded by The Goodnight Education Foundation and United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. CAM’s Spanish Language Initiative is funded in part by Bank of America. Accessibility Initiatives are funded in part by the Jandy Ammons Foundation. Museum Access for Kids is funded in part by the Carolina Hurricanes Kids N’ Communities Foundation. The CAM to Go Initiative is funded in part by The Asha and Sajjan Agarwal Foundation.

Exhibition Images courtesy of Tim Lytvinenko
@newtim