A native of Badin,North Carolina, I spent my early years in the care of my grandparents, I was able to explore all of the beauty that nature affords. He has retained the essence of his youth, as can be seen in the presence of nostalgic landscapes that reflect a sometimes dreamlike quality of distant, timeless places, painted most often from the deepest recesses of my memories. “Discovery is the greater joy for me, as it gives me pause to be somewhat seduced by what may be suggested through my works in progress. To go with the flow, and ride with the currents is most exhilarating.” Throughout my development as an artist, most of the work has been informed by social and political interactions via the Civil Rights Movement, while still a student at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. On May 1, 1965, I joined a picket line surrounding the Stephen Girard College for White Male Orphan Boys, located in the heart of North Central Philadelphia. Continuously, for seven months and seventeen days, the Freedom Fighters rallied at the gates of Girard College well into the month of December. Their efforts resulted in the desegregation of the institution. That experience re-kindled stories often shared by my grandparents of sharecropping, slavery, and tales of country living during the Great Depression. Told through several generations, those stories were catalyst enough to set me on a course for documenting, through art, the struggles and triumphs of the ancestors’. “Through the use of found objects, I relish the notion of giving “new life’’ to discarded findings, often serving as metaphors for the restoration of the broken spirits of forsaken people”. Touched by the associations with master artists, Louis B. Sloan, Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, I explored introducing objects onto canvases as well, combining a romantic longing for the past with a recognizable reality of the present. I live to share my creations and ideas with the world!
*Richard J. Watson has earned a wide reputation as a post-modern “Renaissance Man.” This well-deserved reputation stems from his successful work as a canvas painter, muralist, exhibition curator, musician, fashion designer and arts mentor who ventures well beyond his studio to engage with the wider arts community.
ART IS LIFE…LIVE FOR ART!