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Meet John Richey

@ his studio in Brooklyn, NY

SHOP JOHN'S WORKS

Tell us about yourself & how you became an artist

I was born in San Diego, California and raised in a small town in Southern Arizona. I’ve always made things with my hands and enjoyed collaborating with other creative people. While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I started an artist collective with a group of schoolmates. In graduate school, I collaborated with many people, and upon moving to New York work to become part of an artistic community where I could both be supported in my projects and support others in theirs.

John Richey artist

What is your art addressing? What kind of message do you want to convey through your art?

My new cyanotype works reference the natural world through use of a paired down color palette and deconstructed imagery. This series consists of geometric patterns in tones of blue and white which reference the sky, clouds, and water. They are about how two contradictory ideas can coexist simultaneously in a single discrete artwork. There's a dynamic energy in the push and pull between disparate themes. I hope to convey a sense of stability and calm as well as one of disorder.

John Richey artist

What kind of emotions do you want to stir in your audience?

I appreciate when people bring their own experiences, interpretation, and history to an artwork and hope they leave with new questions and lines of inquiry. The best artworks are not easily defined and if you walk away with questions, they’re doing their job.

What is your creative process?

My artwork is process-based and consists of setting up a series of rules or guidelines, executing them, and seeing what happens. I’m methodical and organized with the way I make things and generally have a sense of what the final artwork will be. I navigate the steps and see what comes out on the other end. My general sensibility is fairly rigid and controlled, but I purposely leave space, through use of specific materials or medium, for flexibility and chance. I’ve started embracing the ‘mistakes’ and appreciate the inherent beauty in their imperfections.

John Richey artist

“I’ve started embracing the ‘mistakes’ and appreciate the inherent beauty in their imperfections.”

3 words to describe yourself as an artist

organized. optimistic. thoughtful.

3 words to describe your art

process-driven. minimal. pattern.


VIEW WORKS FROM THIS ARTIST

John Richey

untitled (pareidolia 002)

$88 /mo | $550 Purchase
John Richey

untitled (pareidolia 005)

$88 /mo | $550 Purchase
John Richey

untitled (screen 004)

$38 /mo | $440 Purchase
John Richey

untitled (screen 005)

$38 /mo | $440 Purchase

Your go-to music for when you're working?

I love music and have it playing all the time. Sometimes I listen to the radio; WFUV in NYC (90.7), NPR, and Radio Woodstock (100.1 WDST). I’ve recently been streaming a lot of low-key and moody playlists; shoegaze, indie, 90’s alternative, post-punk, and r&b. Currently in heavy rotation are Courtney Barnett, American Football, Sparks, Tigers Jaw, The 1975, King Princess, Solange, and Against Me!

Favorite movie or show?

I really enjoyed the recent TV adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel’s “Station Eleven” and the documentaries “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” by Michael Davis, “The Sparks Brothers” by Edgar Wright, and “Summer of Soul” by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.

Favorite color?

…to wear - Black …to make work with - Blue, White, and Grey

John Richey artist

Do you have a routine or ritual for when you're working?

I try to set aside blocks of time for myself and my creative practice. As I go about my day-to-day, I’m constantly gathering materials and making lists for upcoming projects. Many of my pieces come out of a series of repetitive and ritualistic actions. I am goal driven and create rigid project or collaborative deadlines for myself to bring certain projects to completion. There’s always music playing and good snacks are crucial.

Where / When / How do you get inspired?

I draw inspiration from the world around me and from ‘the everyday’. I am a list maker, I take a lot of pictures, and I utilize found or salvaged materials. I am an avid collector of zines, books, textiles, vinyl, and found objects that I use as fodder for larger artworks. Other types of creative output also inspire me; music, fashion, the performing arts. When I see an interesting and exciting piece, I am immediately driven to get back into the studio.

John Richey artist

What makes you happy?

I’m an inherently upbeat and optimistic person. Being surrounded by and being able to collaborate with people in a diverse creative community is fulfilling. I am extremely appreciative of my wife and close group of friends/professional colleagues. I like my cat (even though he’s bad), chocolate chip cookies, listening to music, and hanging out with friends + family. At my core, being an artist is who I am and also what makes me happy.

John Richey artist

What impact does living in New York have on you?

I feel extremely lucky to be able to live in New York City. It can be a hard place to live but it can also be great. It’s expensive, there are a million people, it’s hot and uncomfortable in the summer, and unbearably cold in the winter, but it has an energy all its own. I am endlessly appreciative of its unique energy and having access to a network of thriving creative communities and cultural institutions. New York has taught me a lot.

How has your art changed throughout your career?

The processes and techniques I employ have shifted and changed throughout my career but the core concepts and themes have remained fairly consistent.

What do you want people to know about you or your art that we haven't asked?

I'm excited about the opportunity to share my work with a new audience.

VIEW MORE WORKS FROM THIS ARTIST

John Richey

untitled (screen 015)

$38 /mo | $440 Purchase
John Richey

untitled (screen 022)

$38 /mo | $440 Purchase
John Richey

untitled (screen 100)

$88 /mo | $940 Purchase
John Richey

untitled (screen 086)

$88 /mo | $940 Purchase

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