artist of the day #28: Rick Wright

The human figure, complex and wonderful it inspires our greatest artists. It is the most common subject matter of art throughout all of history. Every artist studies it and a small handful master it. It is the fingerprint of almost anyone who has ever picked up a brush or pencil. Even when it is executed in imitation, it reveals something unique and special about the artist.

Any decent example of figurative art tells you something about both the artist and the subject and how they relate to each other. At times the work can have a very voyeuristic feel to it where it seems like the subject doesn’t even know they are being looked upon. Other times the subject takes on such a presence, that it is as if they summoned the artist to recreate them on paper.

So much can be told with the right use of line or color, on their own that it is a special talent when an artist can use both masterfully. Kansas based artist, Rick Wright has created a portfolio of work that is both exploratory and fluid. He has developed his own approach, but it does not feel forced or over stylized as I have seen with too many other figurative artists. Looking at his work over time it seems he is beginning to explore more with exaggerated proportions and abstraction, but still keeping a very similar color scheme and sense of arrangement in his figures. I feel like he is trying to capture the beauty and sensuality in women and the oddness and peculiarity of men. His works on women, that make up the bulk of his collection, are all very suggestive and intriguing in their pose, while the men are more cavalier and often times the more distorted of his works.

Wright is trained as an illustrator and has spent a good amount of time teaching in several different capacities. He is a good ole traveling artist, doing the bulk of his exhibiting at various festivals and events. He can mostly be found somewhere in the middle of the states, so if you find yourself out there, consider taking a worthwhile detour.