Sector Seven Contemporary Art Gallery is hosting the artists’ reception and opening for South Pasadena resident Richard Negri taking place Thursday, December 16th from 6pm to 9pm. The South Pasadena community and surrounding neighborhoods are invited to view Richard’s art exhibition of abstract portraits, depicting emotional states of individuals that stem from aspects of his life or encapsulating interactions with people. Each piece is original in it’s portrait depiction, handcrafted on paper using either watercolor, ink, charcoal, gouache or the combination of these materials. Gallery owner and curator Esteban Lopez tells us “both original artwork and prints will be available and libations will be served. See you there!”
I began painting at the beginning of 2020 as the COVID- 19 pandemic escalated. Prior to working with watercolors, I spent a few years doing basswood relief carving 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 staffer. My paintings of mostly imagined faces are deeply informed by various aspects of my life. Ingrained in me is the concept of community building and allowing time and space for meaningful engagements to occur between people. My paintings bring out both great sadness and joy,and share lightness and levity in the face of the daily grind. I enjoy the faces telling their own stories; I simply facilitate their images to be seen and hear what they may have to say.
The Fauvist movement from the early 20th century speaks to me, especially a piece by Henri Matisse called “Young Sailor I. ” The feeling of compassion and intense sensitivity that the masterful artist achieves has been such an enormous influence. I am drawn to emotional expressionism and my hope is to continue to explore the dynamics of unashamed emotion through my paintings – Richard Negri