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Monday, November 25, 2019

Adam Riches

Adam Riches' Triple Portrait. (my title).
Creativity in the form of graphic self-expression begins quite early in a child's life. It might be something of an exaggeration to say it begins at birth, but quite apart from that creativity might easily be said to be life itself. Sometime during the first year of a child's life he or she is given paper and a crayon with which to entertain themselves,--if only for a few minutes--while the parent enjoys a much-need respite from the more demanding elements of child care. The child begins to experiment and quickly discovers that moving the little stick of colored wax around over the paper leaves a lasting mark (art for art's sake?) Referring to such scribbles as "art" might depend upon how broad ones definition, of the subject might be. Yet if you are broadminded enough to consider art to include all forms of creative self-expression, scribbling with various colored crayons would fall well within the realm of art. You could call this type of work/play primitive Expressionism. Abstract that the child is drawing his inspiration from within. a few short years later this form of art evolves into a form of Expressionism in which the child begins to create imitating his or her environment, drawing inspiration from both without and within.
Not all of Adam Riches scribbled faces are as deep, dark, and brooding
as this example, but most are quite similar.
Adam's scribbled images evolve, the
artist having only a vague idea of
their final appearance.
Adam Riches' art reflects this gradual de-velopment. It's customary to declare that an artist displayed art talent at a young age (whether true, or not). However Riches' art did begin at a young age...a very young age. Before I go further let me inject here that there are at least three Adam Riches, all approximately the same age, which makes researching this artist's life somewhat complicated. To make mat-ters worse, two of these men are artists. The other Adam Riches specializes in futurist illustrations. There's also a com-edian/singer named Adam Riches, al-though the last two may, in fact, be one and the same. In any case the latter is much more well known, perhaps even "famous" while Adam Riches the scrib-bler's reputation rests solely on his art. I looked for a possible self-portrait, but I couldn't even find a reliable photo of the man. Adam lives and works in Suffolk, England.

There is often an unfinished look to
Riche's scribblings.
Rediscovering a childhood interest for "doodling" has helped this Ipswich man forge an art career. As a boy, Adam Riches used to mess around with pens and pencils and draw historical figures. His talent has led him to working as a full-time artist, with his ink-on-paper work selling for hundreds of pounds. "I was always interested in drawing as a child and drawing from my imagination... I feel lucky to take something I did when I was younger and develop that into a career."

Some of Riches scribble
works suggests female faces,
though sometimes it's a very
subtle distinction. 

Adam Riches uses pen and ink to create frenetic por-traits of brooding anonymous figures. The monochrome illustrations emerge out of blank backgrounds, with broad, gestural lines skittering and looping across the paper. Often, pen drawings fall into two stylistic cat-egories: contour drawings that capture the outlines and edges of their subject, or super-smooth ones that seem to defy the fine point of the pen with layered hatch marks. In forging his own style, Riches uses highly varied densities in his mark-making to create volume and suggest shadows, while also utilizing each line as a distinctive shape. In a recent video interview with BBC, the artist explains, “The drawings are quite intuitive and are done spontaneously. They reveal themselves as I’m making them.” Riches has certainly chosen a difficult medium in which to work. With the possible exception of watercolor, ballpoint pen and ink can be a most "unforgiving" medium of expression.

One of Riches more "polished" renderings
However, given his style of rendering and the anonymous, "unscripted" nature of his subject, what otherwise might be con-sidered an error can be encompassed into the overall nature of the work. Riches considers his surroundings as quite important to his creative process. He notes that he works best when alone, although he admits to the importance of being surrounded, with other creative people. He also listens to music through earphones as a means to block out the world and get lost in the process. He favors music by The Smiths, The Clash, David Bowie, Nirvana, The Pogues and several others. Riches admits to a singular weakness that often bedevils many artists--procrastination. But in his defense, he considers his bouts with pro-crastination to be sources of inspiration and motivation. Riches notes that his style evolved out of the idea for a sculpture. In choosing to make a human head from wire he made some preliminary drawings. Ironically. the sculpture never got made, but he continued with the drawings.


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