Paradox and Conformity

Paradox and Conformity

Works by Richard Deon

Exhibition: January 15 – February 15

Gallery Reception:January 16, 2:00-4:00 p.m.


Artist Statement:

What is the deal with these paintings?


While fretting over delayed textbooks, my seventh grade social studies instructor unknowingly issued me a peculiar American History textbook. When I opened it, I discovered that a student from a prior generation had defaced the illustrations with a ballpoint pen. Mustaches and eyeglasses were drawn on portraits of historical figures; warplanes and speedboats were added to landscapes like the Boston Tea Party. Delighted with this unexpected comic book, I took editorial control and began extending the illustrations into the margins by adding buildings and creating new scenes–my personal Manifest Destiny. Within a few weeks, I was disciplined and issued a clean textbook, a bill, and a stern warning.

Boot Camp

The narrative of history is always being transformed. As an art student of the late 70s, I was exposed to a predominantly progressive faculty who used Marxist critical theory. Their process of deconstruction was applied to the study of American History and to the visual arts as well. I began using the process without the dogma, and realized that a partial narrative out of its original context creates a kind of social surrealism–an absurd record.

The Story Goes On

Using a based-on-precedent policy over the last 25 years, I have created a body of work much like the defaced illustrations of my formative years. Commentary is suggested; visual information is repeated; point of view is obfuscated. The resulting compositions are truly mixed messages–which speak or don’t speak–for themselves.


Gallery of Works:

Click on photo to enlarge
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