During his time as a fellow at the RAiR Program, Ryder Richards (born in Roswell in 1977) has developed a series of drawings and sculptures exploring methods of icon and image presentation in the West. Using two Renaissance sculptures as inspiration, the work in Conflicted presents flattened images of the sculptures held aloft by a wooden network of scaffolding reminiscent of drive-in movie screens, billboards, and towers lining the local highways.
Drawing from Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women and Hercules Fighting the Centaur Nessus housed in the Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence, Richards’ works reflect on the symbiotic role of site in relation to sculpture and the uniquely conflicted relationship between victim and oppressor. Focused on moments of intense, dramatic theatricality, the works reflect a common propagandistic need to glorify the active and violent life.
Harnessing the destructive power of gunpowder to create his drawings, Richards’ process comments on judiciously applied force as a means of shaping social climate. Further referencing historic systems of violence, Richards incorporates decorative patterning found on engraved rifle breeches, often creating a figure purely from pattern as a means to disguise in beauty the threat of violence.
While offering these darkly equivocal notions on Western society Richards will stage the works amidst an installation of false walls and exposed 2x4 studs, further accentuating the site as an architectural construct extending image proliferation.
Ryder lives outside of Dallas, Texas and is the Gallery Director for Richland College. As part of his practice Ryder participates in several collective art groups, runs a nomadic truck gallery, curates exhibits, and writes art reviews.