American Dreamer painting
Medium: oil on canvas
Surface: Canvas, unframed with painted edges
Width: 36 inches
Height: 36 inches
Depth: 1 inch
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©2019 Paul Richmond
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” - Oscar Wilde
The paintings in this series portray diverse figures who thrive within the outskirts of mainstream society despite being regarded as invisible by the conservative patriarchy. The expressive application of paint gives the subjects a bold physicality and undeniable presence while the gestural, emotive marks suggest their resounding humanity. Masks, often tools for disguise, take on a metaphorical role that connect the models to a greater narrative, engaging a dialogue of identity, otherness, and personal mythology. My treatment of form explores both reality and abstraction, engaging color, shape, and pattern to continuously deconstruct and rebuild. The painterly surface becomes a mask in itself - the visceral, emotive marks reduce the literalness of the depiction while invoking a more substantive connection to the figure and their story.