Richard Tetrault

Culture Crawl Studio C12, 884 East Georgia Street

What have you been working on since last year’s crawl?

I have a new series of gouache and ink paintings derived from my sketches from travels in India this past winter. The daily presence of ritual infuses the country with equal amounts of celebration and solemnity. I found a good source for lovely handmade papers from a factory near Jaipur, and brought it home for this series. The paper is sensuous and decal edged, with each piece unique. Decorated India!

Where do you find your inspiration?

If an artist can’t find inspiration in a few blocks of the Downtown East Side, they aren’t looking hard enough! Inspiration for my paintings and prints comes from my immediate experiences and encounters. The street, waterfront and industrial landscape in my surroundings are constantly evolving, and I draw from locales that are overlooked or underappreciated for their visual qualities and layers of history. Crows, alleys, urban streetscapes and street life are recurring motifs in my repertoire. In my public murals I look for powerful but poetic forms and images that, whether through collaborative or solo processes, make statements uniquely relevant to the community.

What’s the best thing about the Crawl?

The Crawl provides me with a springboard for conversation about my new work. That is #1. I love the encounters that are from annual visitors as well as those totally new to my studio. Assembling series from the year’s production takes time, but is a good way for me to review the work, edit and prioritize my next series. Ultimately, the dialogues and exchanges that take place spontaneously during the Crawl is the social engagement that many artists want. And then, there is the individual who searches the corners of the studio for that hidden work that strikes a chord… always special!

What’s a standout piece you’ll be showing at the Crawl?

A new triptych Industrial Waterfront-Nightfall #2 will be central this year. I like the triptych format for its mythic overtones. An abstracted interplay of light and form, it’s about the beauty of the waterfront under arc lights, the fragmented shipping containers and gantries, and the suggestion of a hidden narrative, of something about to happen…

Describe your studio space a little. Is it minimal and contained, or more sprawling?

My newly minted new studio space has three large skylights along with large north windows facing the street. Natural light is a great thing, and I don’t take it for granted, having had studio in the past that were more like caves. The floor is concrete as it just gets covered in paint anyways. My Conrad printing press, work tables and such are all on wheels so they can be set up in various configurations for a project, or moved out of the way.

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