Making your way through Old Town East you will arrive at Richard Duarte Brown’s carriage house studio. After parking on the street you will find Richard’s assistant Donte looking out for visitors. You will see finished mixed media paintings and works in progress. Duarte will demonstrate how he composes his art using yoga mats, cigar boxes, photos, drawings, wood pieces and gathered objects from treasure bins.
Mixed media painting
Richard Duarte Brown, born in Atlantic City New Jersey in 1957 he was known as shy little Ricky by his family. Now called Duarte was encouraged to face people and told he should never be an artist by his mom and oldest brother. Their reasons he could never make money at being an artist and everything in the art world has already been done. He understood their words were for protection. As Duarte puts it by the age nine, his “Artist Spirit” felt homeless. But Duarte heard a still small voice saying you are an artist. And Duarte saw his art as a potential to uplift and elevate mans existence ever since. Duarte began drawing at age 6, creating art from found objects such as rice, glue, shoe polish and cardboard, and he continues to work primarily in mixed media. His works have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and locally at the Frank Hale Cultural Center at The Ohio State University and the William Thomas Gallery. He is a participating artist in Interrupted Life: Incarcerated Mothers in the United States, a traveling public art exhibition support by the Ford Foundation. Duarte has dedicated his talents to helping young people through countless programs including CAPACITY, the Short Stop Youth Center, the King Arts Complex, and Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s Artists-in-Schools program, GCAC’s Children of the Future, Ebony Boys, Art Safe and Very Special Arts Ohio. Duarte has also worked as a high school art instructor at the Arts and College Preparatory Academy in Columbus.
My purpose is to use the history of my childhood, the strengths and limitations of our city and the life I see around me, to connect the generations and to ultimately create a family dynamic. When I create art I set the table for us to sit, as a family and indulge in connectedness, identity and hope. My art is like a loaf of bread we can eat from, when people eat this bread we become a family. When I look around I see that my city is declining. My solution to this concern is to communicate a sense of connectedness to the next generation. We are connected through family, relationship and hope. I use art as a medium to go deep into the conscious and inspire people. I convey this message through combining wood, scrapes, yoga mats, old television parts, dried tree limbs, canvas wood and many other various pieces. I find these parts and pieces like finding old family members and create 2D mixed media pieces. My 2D art is used to connect with the family of mankind. The body of work investigates man’s ability to comfort one another and the contemplation of that reality at all the stages of development.
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