Richard Hall

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Richard Hall

United States

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 For over 40 years, I have enjoyed a successful career in fine art, exploring the opposing worlds of abstract art and traditional still life. But chance intervened when a mischievous toddler added her two-cents worth to one of my still life settings, prompting me to see my work in an entirely new way.

The incident occurred in 2010 when I walked into my studio and found that my precisely constructed still life setup of vintage hand tools had been augmented by a plastic dump truck and driver, carefully placed “just-so” in the middle of the scene. The unintended art critique, my two-year old granddaughter, made me laugh out loud! 

Intrigued by the juxtaposition between the weathered tools and the bright plastic, I tinkered with the display until I got the idea for The Great Escape – wherein a brave dump truck driver starts a Rube Goldberge-esque process in motion to rescue his toolbox-imprisoned friends. 

Since I was already “breaking the rules” for appropriate still life subject matter, I decided to step even further outside the genre by incorporating an abstract background. The artistic union was complete: still life precision, abstract art vibrancy, and my cheeky British humor – all in one painting. 

I assumed that my collectors wouldn’t be interested in The Great Escape, fearing they would find the lighthearted subject matter to be frivolous. I was in for a big surprise when the painting sold before the varnish was even dry. 

Since this time, I have been offering my work to collectors nationwide who enjoy this technique and laugh-out-loud wordplay.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 16th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.