My new War Paint piece Twilight is a portrait of a special person - my childhood art teacher, mentor and lifelong friend Linda Regula. Limited-edition prints of Twilight are available now: paulrichmond.bigcartel.com/pro…
"I was born in the mountains of West Virginia, second youngest of nine children. We lived in tar-papered shacks without electricity or running water, and moved often. Memories of my childhood always include nighttime trips to outdoor toilets, those first scary walks into new schools where I was bullied, newspaper pasted over cracks in the walls, trying to stay warm in winter, and night-time moves to another shack. My mother ran away when I was nine years old, and my father lived by the saying, 'spare the rod and spoil the child.' I was ill-dressed, hungry, abused, and fearful of his escalating violence. Although a world of poverty and neglect surrounded my physical body, I was also blessed because powerful imagination allowed me to create beautiful worlds that also nurtured my soul." ~Linda Regula, from The Artist's Interview
WAR PAINT Series
“They understand only too well the liberation into savagery that the concealing paint brought.” –Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Body painting has significance in many cultures and serves a variety of purposes from spiritual cleansing to battle preparation. My War Paint series draws upon this rich symbolism to investigate the construction of identity. In these paintings, the modern human form becomes the canvas, a painted object of his/her own creation. Reality and abstraction compete within the figurative foundation of each piece to make the subjects’ inner struggles more tangible. The application of pigment is suggestive of their psychological states, the color of their self-made armor exposing more than it conceals. By deconstructing and rebuilding the figure, my goal is to invite understandings that reach beyond the immediate surface and reveal the complexity of the individual.
Paul Richmond is an internationally recognized visual artist and activist whose paintings draw inspiration from his own experiences as a young gay man. He graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design in 2002 and came out of the closet shortly thereafter. Since then, his artwork has become a vehicle for exploring and understanding his own journey, as well as developing a dialogue with other members of the LGBTQ community. Influenced by his own struggles as he came to terms with his sexual identity, he seeks to challenge social constructs that exist around sexual orientation and gender roles.|
His career has included exhibitions in galleries throughout the United States, as well as publication in numerous art journals and anthologies. His work is collected by individuals from around the globe. Paul is currently represented by Lyman-Eyer Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In his role as the Associate Art Director for Dreamspinner Press and their young adult imprint, Harmony Ink Press, he has created over two hundred and fifty novel cover illustrations. He teaches community art classes for Stonewall Columbus. He has volunteered with the Kaleidoscope Youth Center, encouraging LGBTQ teens to use art as a means of self-exploration and expression. He is a co-founder of the You Will Rise Project, an organization that empowers those who have experienced bullying to speak out creatively through the language, visual, and performing arts.
Paul shares his life with husband, Dennis Niekro. They were married in a group ceremony with twenty-four other LGBT couples in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in June 2013. Together, they are committed to using their artistic talents to raise equality awareness.