In this day in age it may seem extremely difficult be cutting edge and produce something that is original or innovative - and nothing rings more true than when we discuss this within the realms of the creative industry.. however, one artist who is constantly adapting his style, and creating unique contemporary collections that try to push those boundaries - is our artist of the week this week - figurative painter Richard Blunt. There is clear development and experimentation in each series that Richard releases, and this is particularly evident in his most recent Spring collection which dropped just last month. The colours are bolder and more vibrant, and the subject matters are even edgier - but there still remains the incredible skill and extraordinary story telling that Richard has now become so well known for. So, we felt like this was a great opportunity to delve deeper into Richard Blunt's background, inspirations and of course - take a look at this progression within his works since he came on with Robertson Fine Art only last year!
Born and raised in the West Midlands, Richard Blunt always aspired to be part of the creative world. Following in his family’s footsteps, art was always an all-encompassing force in the teenager’s life. Hoping to turn this passion to vocation, Richard mistakenly took the advice of his careers advisor whose promise that ‘you’ll never make any money as an artist’ simply delayed the inevitable. Dejected but determined to pursue his creative talent, he enrolled at Worcester College of Art, studying three-dimensional design before embarking on a decade of artistic pursuit that saw him play in several bands and culminated in a move to Cardiff in South Wales to complete a degree in Popular Music. A city he lives and works in now.
Richard is a visual story teller - and often takes inspiration from film or music, and so much like his taste in these changes and adapts over time, as does his art and his style along with it. His basic skill set is somewhat traditional and as a figurative painter he is extremely gifted, with an eye for precision and recreating imagery of people to a 'photo realistic' quality. However, unlike other artists Richard always adds the surprise of a 'modern day twist' to all of his paintings - whether that be through the use of props or fashion items within the image, or with the addition of colour or text, there is always a really visually appealing composition that feels very current. He also takes inspiration from something very personal to him, a bold move for any artist to allow a window into their life through their art - as he confidently tells the tale of his own love story through his images, using both himself and his partner as the two main characters in all of his paintings. In order to get a little bit of a better idea of his style and how it has transformed and developed over the last year, let's take a closer look at each individually...
Harmony: Dark & Light was the first collection launched at Robertson Fine Art back in May 2018 and it was met with a really great reaction as far as first collections by new artists go. The unique part about this collection was it was split into two very contrasting parts - with the 'dark' side the more sultry side, and the man in the fedora can be seen regularly in the works to be holding a cigar or drinking whiskey, and the female is taking part in a game of poker - or is even sporting a full sleeve tattoo. The other is a lighter and more 'dreamlike' side to the work - and here you will see the couple wandering along breathtaking beaches in a state of pure bliss and romance.
One of the most imaginative aspects to this collection was Richard's idea to team up with our top selling digital artist - JJ Adams. Their collaboration 'Black Widow' saw a perfect mix of JJ's edgy additions of tattoo's and funky props with Richard's mysteries models and incredible painterly techniques.
The follow up to these pieces, launched in the summer of 2018 - were 5 brand new originals inspired by the newly opened and completely unique Batman themed 'Hotel Gotham'. The decor of Hotel Gotham perfectly complimented the subject matter in Richard's work and again saw him utilize something completely new age in his artwork.
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK
This was the third collection of 2018 to be released by Richard Blunt - and one of his most groundbreaking to date. 'If These Walls Could Talk' showcased the new styles and techniques that Richard had been perfecting for months and really brought a fresh outlook on his figurative works. These works included something in which you really don't see all that often in original oil paintings, if at all - the use of text. Quirky quotes like "Roses are red, violets are blue. Keep the flowers, I'd rather have shoes" accompanied a painting of a man and a woman wearing a pair of red soled heels. This very tongue and cheek approach to Richard's work really went down well with his clientele and the reaction was spectacular. People were double taking after first being taken by the image itself and then when they read the quote above they gave a little smile, because it then took on a whole new meaning and became just that more relatable to so many.
Richard's valentines day release - his first collection of 2019 again saw a slightly different aspect to his work. This time he had created the figures using a much more raw and stripped back technique where he exposed more of his brushstrokes and textures that he would usually build upon. The backgrounds were a pop of strong bold colours and were visually, incredibly striking. This was his first experimentation with vibrant colour and something we would see more of in his next series of works.
Richard's newest collection, released in the spring of this year - is probably his most innovative to date. Taking aspects of his earlier collections like the more sultry compositions in his 'Harmony - Dark' series, and mixing it up with with really quirky props and a pop of candy pink and blue paint skimmed across the background - this is a really fun, fresh and stylish body of work that have impressed both ourselves, and the public!
At Robertson Fine Art, we applaud all artists who challenge themselves and their work and experiment with new techniques - and especially in the case of Richard's work it has been amazing to see him and his work grow so much in such a short time! We are of course, incredibly excited to see what the future collections will be like for this artist and we are sure you will be too! You can keep up to date with all of Richard's newest works here or if you would like any further information about our fantasic artist of the week, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org