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October 7, 2019

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Edge: Contemporary Figurative Paintings

August 11, 2016

Michele Bubacco

Still Life with Two Bottles and a Wrong Painting That Say Hallo,

2015, Acrylic, paper and spray on canvas, 73.75" x 55"

Copyright © Michele Bubacco


Figuration can do many things.  It can reflect the visual reality of the world around us, it can tell stories or it can create stories.  The five artists presented in the David Richard Gallery’s Edge: Contemporary Figurative Paintings are doing a little bit of all three and some at the same time.





Michael Dixon
Let Me Say That We Have Failed To Say Something To America Enough, 2015 
Oil on canvas 
20 x 20 x 1.5"
Copyright © Michael Dixon


The self-portraits of Michael Dixon interweave both political and personal identity, with humor and pathos existing side by side.  Rendered in a masterful academic style, his work speaks to the issues surrounding his being of mixed race and the identity confusion they entail.  In other works there is a political timeliness, subtly referencing the marginalization of African Americans.  All this makes for a powerful challenge to the viewer.




Esteban Cabeza de Baca 
Dance, 2015 
Oil on canvas 
72" x 72"
Copyright © Esteban Cabeza de Baca


The large-scale, colorful paintings of Esteban Cabeza de Baca combine figuration with abstraction as a platform for exploring his Native American ancestry.  There are myths and mysteries that are more intuitively experienced than divined. 




Michele Bubacco
Paesaggio Italiano in 6 Frammenti, 2014 
Oil on paper 
27.5" x 118"
Copyright © Michele Bubacco


The works of Michele Bubacco present a ‘story line’ of indeterminate Hogarthian activity and apparent dissolution.  While there is no beginning and no end to this non-narrative, the images may be considered the opening scenes to an enigmatic maelstrom of discomfort, furthering the sense of darkness and mystery.






Michael Scott 
111, 2013 
Transparent pigment on stainless steel
68" x 48"
Copyright © Michael Scott



Michael Scott explores the landscapes, the culture and the legends of the American West.  In the series Found he conflates the religiosity of Catholic imagery with more profane subject matter.  Painted in transparent pigment on steel panels, the resultant image is difficult to discern at first, but becomes more disturbing as it reveals itself.




Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave 
Dookie Braids High Yella Heffa Throwing Shade!, 2016 
Acrylic on canvas 
12.5" x 12"
Copyright © Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave


Equally disturbing are the paintings by Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave, an African-American artist who reconfigures racist stereotypes in caricature form.  Aggressively painted to reflect the harshness of the subject matter.  Like Dixon, Hargrave forces us to confront some very troubling and ugly truths about ourselves.

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