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The Story of "Man Seeking Solitude"
from Randy Richmond
The man seated is metaphorically an artist named Jim Konrad. Jim was an amazing artist that spent way too much time in Vietnam as a medic on a ship. He was an art professor at Augustana college in Rock Island, Illinois. He lived with an encyclopedic knowledge of art, art materials, artists, and art history in his head.
Jim spent almost all of his time in his studio that was filled with stacks of art, and books. Along with stacks of things that started from the floor, he also had fish, that visitors to his studio had made, hanging from the ceiling. My theory is that the fish represented an escape from the chaos and tragedy he experienced above water.
Along with the fish are several items that existed in his studio that I have included in this fictional cabinet card.
There is an unfinished painting of a friend that had killed himself. He was also a Vietnam vet.
The gnomes existed in plaster and were also drawn on walls in the studio.
Also important to Jim Konrad was a color wheel of his own design that he referenced constantly.
The plaster cherub from his studio is a sad indicator that Jim Konrad is no longer with us. He passed away not long after retiring from teaching.
The fictional cabinet cards I create combine both aspects of the earlier cards: landscape and portraiture. I use my own quirky, digitally informed photographic imagery to illustrate my observations of the irony and humor present in human behavior. The fictitious photographer, G. Randal Logsdon, is based on my family history, which includes a Grandmother who was a portrait photographer. The imagery and logo are printed on smooth fine-art paper using pigment based inks. After mounting, the cards are aged using various techniques before a mixture of varnish and bees wax is applied. The work is signed on the back to keep the false history intact when viewing the card.
Randy now pursues several photographic projects while subverting the photographic paradigm, by converting silver based materials to digital, as well as using imagery that began as pixels and transporting that imagery back in history to handmade fictional cabinet cards and Van Dyke Brown and Cyanotype prints. Most recently Randy has rediscovered the challenge of the traditional single image captured in both landscape and still-life. This body of work is printed on handmade Japanese Washi papers. He utilizes this cross-pollination of photographic mediums like ingredients in a photographic cookbook to communicate concepts and observations.
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