April at The Franklin Gallery
Carbon Based Life Forms
Opening Reception: April 6 – 5 to 7 p.m.
“I like the convention of physically applying paint to a canvas, but I felt obliged, here in the 21st Century, to use modern tools to prepare the source material,” says Rich. “The watery metallic representation of objects, people and human parts might symbolize the anticipated union of humanity with artificial intelligence, called The Singularity. Might call it, “cyborg-ing it”: the ability to alter our physical form, extend life and vastly increase our intelligence. It fascinates me as a long-time Star Trek and sci-fi fan. If my dad were still around, I would have broached the subject of The Singularity with him. When he got sick, it altered my choices of subject matter. I decided to dedicate the remaining 8 paintings in the series to J R Hudson.”
As you look at the work, you see there’s a lot of detail. The more you look the more you can find strange faces in the shapes: in the body of Harpo, a windswept apparition; in Elvis’ neck, a sleeping cartoon (tilt your head to the left); in Iwo Jima, an old woman’s profile; near Buzz Aldrin’s head, a strange face looking at you. It’s not unlike finding a face when you stare at the Moon, at a cloud or at a rock formation.
Despite encouragement at an early age, Rich only pursued art briefly while growing up. “At the time, I wasn’t committed to visual art,” says Hudson. “I didn’t think it was cool. I loved guitar. I wanted to be like Elvis or Eddie Van Halen.” He dabbled in the visual arts during college, and then left it behind once again for music. Rich was a singer/guitarist for BOB and Black Love during the 1990’s and 2000’s. Then, in 2008 he moved to Switzerland without his guitar. “I had no band and plenty of free time. I was 42 years old and finally realized I’d been in denial for too long; I’m a closet artist! In 2012 I came out. I took a professional exhibition course given by Olga Stefan in Zurich and got to study with 5 other talented artists.” In March of 2012, Hudson had his first solo exhibition at Galerie Kraftwerk in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and in June participated in a group exhibition entitled 7↑ (seven up): An Exhibit of Six Emerging Artists at Galerie del Sud in Zurich, Switzerland.