Sector Seven Contemporary Art Gallery is hosting the artists reception and vernissage for South Pasadena resident Richard Negri, which will take place on Thursday, December 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. The South Pasadena community and surrounding neighborhoods are invited to view Richard’s art exhibit of abstract portraits, depicting the emotional states of individuals that arise from aspects of his life or that encapsulate interactions with people. Each piece is original in its portrait depiction, handcrafted on paper using watercolor, ink, charcoal, gouache or a combination of these materials. Gallery owner and curator Esteban Lopez tells us that “original works of art and prints will be available and libations will be served. We’ll see each other there!”
I started painting in early 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified. Before working with watercolors, I spent a few years doing relief sculpture on basswood and making prints from my woodcuts. I’m self taught and the patio outside my bungalow in South Pasadena is the perfect art studio.
I am a musician, writer and union staff member. My paintings of mostly imaginary faces are deeply influenced by various aspects of my life. The concept of community building and allowing time and space for meaningful engagement to occur between people is ingrained in me. My paintings give off both a great sadness and a great joy, and share lightness and lightness in the face of daily grind. I like faces telling their own stories; I just facilitate their images to be seen and hear what they may have to say.
The fauvist movement of the beginning of the 20th century speaks to me, in particular a play by Henri Matisse entitled “Jeune marin I”. I am drawn to emotional expressionism and my hope is to continue exploring the dynamics of emotion without shame through my paintings – Richard Negri