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BELLOWS FROM BELOW: A studio snapshot with artist Richard Cutshall

I always wear smart shoes on my way down to his studio in the cellar. I sometimes imagine his studio as a wine cellar of sorts where the grapes of symbolic artistic vision ferment and spoil under the hot studio lights.

There is a massive amount of work draped everywhere like moss laden vines on the edge of an enchanted (or haunted) forest. I don't often look up because there's a plethora in my direct view, but quick glances up reveal cob webs and bones trading places in the dark crevices. Richard toils tirelessly without food or drink, answering a drive that seems to have originated before art supply stores even existed....

How does your creative self take shape among so many things?

"Things interest me...Personal stories and things I find in my wanderings...are all food for thought." RC

At any given time, he can be found grinding charcoal down to nubs, obliterating areas of interest on media burdened paper, or hammering wood, bone, and string to remember the unseen places that seem to dwell just under his skin ...

...And I often think of his work as skins (rather than canvases or works on paper)and excavated relics (rather than found object assemblages). He transforms the media so vigorously into something unrecognizable (even to the most versed aficionado). His relentless attack on the substrate breaks down the surface to blend with the various mediums he uses...creating a signature texture that would be hard to replicate. In this way he infuses energy and a sense of story into the heavily weighted marks...creating a narrative that is both visceral and ethereal.

How is it for you... working below and literally underground? "It's out of necessity (as you know), but your question has me thinking of how lots of indigenous origin stories are set in caves or underground dwellings(in actuality representing the womb). Smaller spaces contract and can feel claustrophobic, but can also help one go inward..." RC

Verum Ultimum salutes Richard Cutshall, he was Novembers best selling artist...Congratulations!

Studio Snapshots and writing by Jennifer Gillia Cutshall



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