Warhol, Degas, Mondrian, Vermeer….Hello Kitty? Normally one of these mass consumer items wouldn’t fit in with the others on the list, but in the paintings of Alvin Richard, all these influences and images come together in charmingly arranged tableaus. The small scale acrylic paintings-rarely exceeding 12” square-offer the viewer a mash-up of pop culture and art history references. Skillfully painted in a high realism style, they feel like an extension of the artist’s own interest in the intersection of mass culture and art history.
An intriguing aspect to Alvin Richard’s paintings, is his proficiency for mimicry of other artists’ painting techniques. Mary Pratt, a well-known Canadian realist, is symbolically represented in one painting when the artist expertly reproduces her signature warm light on the jam jars in the background. In another, a book on the Impressionists with a cover painting of Edgar Degas is exactingly rendered. In “Marbles over Warhol” perfect miniature Warhols sit under a bowl of marbles. Alvin Richard makes paintings that are rewarding to spend time with-they draw you in with a masterful painting technique, and hold your attention as you work to decipher the symbolism and aesthetic connections the artists is forging between these familiar items.
Posted July 8 2016 Images used with permission, copyright Alvin Richard