If you live in NYC and spend time in Soho and the Lower East Side, you might have noticed the drip paintings of faces sporadically placed on the streets there. Those are the work of Paul Richard, a brilliant and intriguing street artist who initially I knew nothing about but have now come to greatly admire. At first, I thought that the artist behind these works was a young, rebellious individual tagging his home turf -- I mean, you have to have some nerve to do that right?
Well, I decided to find out. After a bit of research, I came up with the name Paul Richard... I even found his website. So, I emailed him asking if he would meet with me for an interview. It took a couple of months for us to connect, but once we did, he invited me to come over his studio in Greenpoint. By this point, I knew that Paul was no amateur and no spring chicken. I knew he is quite established and he has a long history of creating public and street art as a way to promote himself... and eschew the traditional gallery scene.
But I still had no idea what to expect of a seasoned street artist! On the day of our interview, Paul came down from his studio to meet me in front of the building with his dog, an old, black-and-white pit bull, which happens to be a regular subject of his paintings, and he was dressed up in a black suit wearing a hat... definitely not what I was expecting.
What followed was not any less surprising... I learned Paul is shy -- go figure! He is generous -- he did a drip painting of me! He is supremely talented -- he completed his drip painting of me in virtually one continuous pour within about five minutes flat! He also does highly intricate oil portraits, some of which take up an entire apartment wall and which are in high demand even among high society. He recently finished a portrait of a Surrogate Court judge that is hanging in the courthouse!
Quite an evolution of my original impression. Here is my video interview of Paul Richard, done in
collaboration with Joshua Paul Johnson... enjoy!