Portraits 2019







Head of Saint Francis (recto);  Studies of the Head of Saint Fra



Richard Ramsdell

In my work I combine contemporary and historical imagery from a variety of cultures in a quest to create art that represents a world I wish to see and images that reveal the world I have come to know.

As a pre-teen I began copying popular imagery in order to make pictures of things I was interested in; a process that I didn’t understand as either copyright infringement or appropriation. As I got older and more educated it became clear that my art-making was aimed at affecting society by altering the images it produced. My passion for criticizing our society took a collaborative approach towards the viewer. My work was and is a series of leading questions rather than a collection of narrow statements.

My process has always involved the collection of images. At first these images were family snapshots and pictures from books. With time I built a collection of anonymous 19th and early 20th century 4×5 and 5×7 glass negatives, magic lantern slides of China, 35mm travel slides from the ’70s, x-rays, and a collection of 1960s “swinger” photos. With the advent of the internet and digital photography the availability of source material grew exponentially. (Unlike during my youthful indiscretions I limit myself to sampling public domain sources.)

With time my work has become less emotionally dark (though it lingers) and more directed towards cultural amalgamation. I aim to make art that seduces the viewer into seeing the world as I do.