"My work may be classified as photographic image composites or new media art. It uses multiple digital photographic images  or segments of images and/or drawings that are fused to create a single composite image. The images may be playful,  satirical, or of a more serious nature. I try to tell a story with each image."

My artwork is clearly a representation of my psyche. It represents how I view events and people around me, things that I see that are ridiculous or inane, social trends and societal warped values, getting older, media hyperbole, and a whole host of other things irking or wonderful. The work is a mix of satirical pieces, pieces of individuals not communicating with each other, or other scenes of solitude or beauty. The work is primarily based on photographic images. I either take the images myself or I use found/vintage or other  images combined with my images. The images are often supplemented by drawing.  The juxtaposition of the older images and the newer photographs gives the final work a curious feel.

As noted above, my artwork is based on the world I see which often seems wildly absurd. Modern media hype, reality TV, and the state of Earth (natural and man-made) all influence all translate into my art. I continually seek out images that appear to me to be a bit askew. 

I have two favorite artists, Edward Hopper and Rene Magritte. Hopper's works are beautiful in that there is subtle color with solitude and loneliness being an ongoing theme. Magritte presents colorful images which are surreal. I see my work falling somewhere between the two artists.

The Process

I've been asked fairly often about the process I use to create my image composites. I must admit it's pretty hard for me to define since the images do not fall into a repetitive pattern.

I look for the unusual in a person or persons  which, when I see it, I know it. It's not whether a person is fat or skinny, one color or another, or any other physical attribute. It's a special aspect of an individual which makes them appear to me to be special. It's their human quality which attracts me. Sounds weird, but sometimes things are not easily explained.

To be analytical, my first inclination is to find a subject(s) that I can photograph. The person has to appear to me to be out of the ordinary or of interest. In addition to my photos, I sometimes choose vintage images of individuals or places and combine them with my images. I will not use down and out street people or persons with obvious physical deformities or attributes. The individuals I use for my images are simply characters of interest to me. They are healthy and displaying behaviors that are special.

Once I have found a subject(s) that is of interest me I try to place them (him, her, them, it) in a background that is appropriate. The background could be a park, beach, or simply a monotone. For example, the photographer Irving Penn used a simple backdrop for his people photos. I'll do the same if the individual is of interest and adding in a background would not enhance the final image. Sometimes the background comes along with the individual.

I do not have a set pattern about how an image grows. I guess it is organic in that elements of the final image change over the time I'm working on the image. Sometimes, an entire background will change or elements will be added or deleted. The end goal is to create an image with visual interest of the human condition.

I want each image to stand on its' own without using repetition. I never know where a picture will take me. I may start out with some notion of the potential look of the final piece, but that often changes as the piece progresses.

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Website: www.alanrichardsart.com

Email: dr.a.richards@gmail.com

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