Richter the Kid - 2019
Oil and mixed oil media on linen
Height 67" x Width 79"
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“Richter the Kid was a piece that happened at the very end of the year (2019) for me. I was still pretty new to a studio space and just getting the feel for creating and working in that space. This work is the first one that felt like a big success in that realm. Hitting my stride in a new space and continuing to work with certain colors that have been really interesting to me is very satisfying. These two figures framed by archways are in some way very obvious icons of the American west; the armed cowboy with a six-shooter and a horse. That certainly exists and there is a bit of a commentary to that end. But then there are layers beyond that imagery that I hope a viewer injecting more time into this piece gets to be rewarded with and finds - including this reference, which is also called out in the title of the piece - to Gerhard Richter. With the stylized portrait in the face, I hope that in this piece one can realize everything from a very quickly digestible icon of the west - horse and rider, to significant art historical references. Both done in the sepia tone that pays homage to photographs of the era that these come from as well as Gerhard Richter as previously mentioned. Then there are other current moments happening in contemporary art with color and shape that are lovely, and I hope to present all of those simultaneously in this piece.”
- Connor Liljestrom, artist