Richard Slechta’s art world is the rigorous circle of artists that work within the genre of experimental, non-camera based photography. Not mainstream, however it’s growing lure by collectors is an art genre that draws on older traditions of pre-digital methods, where there is an importance placed on the hand-made, careful intention and one-of-a-kind creative responses to mass produced contemporary culture.
Slechta’s preoccupation with the phenomenon of light has been a defining influence on every aspect of his work. The photograms he creates bring together the fields of painting and photography. Wielding light and pigment, his luminescent images explore time’s delicate presence. His life-work has developed from softly contoured silhouettes to the tactile presence of painterly geometric abstractions.
Slechta’s early works were characterized by minimalist narrative strategies and material experimentalism. He began working with large-scale camera-less photograms in 1992. At the time, he was influenced by contemporary artist, Robert Rauschenberg whose brazen use of photographic materials opened up new ways of image making, as well as 18th century Japanese calligrapher, Ito Jakuchu who embodied daring and spatially lean compositions.
System of Perception
Slechta’s recent collections; Cascades, Crosscurrent Junctions and Inherent Trajectories, display a visual signature of shapes and patterns in lush colors, moving with kinetic energy through large expanses of space. Arrays of waveforms, oscillating patterns, fragmenting shards, contrasting with solid blue bars, are constantly changing, arising into being and then dissolving. Slechta’s photograms embody shifting emotional tenor, referring to unstable conditions of causation, breakage, and release. There is an inquiry into actions leading to chain-reactions that cascade down, paralleling our contemporary moment.
Growing up on the family farm, he had to find creative ways to build things with what was available. His ease with transforming unexpected materials has become a driver for his experimental approach to image making.
Receiving a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts, he moved to New York City. He graduated in 1995, with honors, receiving a BFA in Fine Art Photography. He would live in New York City for 13 years as a photographer and multimedia artist. During this time, his absorption with the phenomenon of light became the singular influence on every aspect of his studio work.
Slechta’s works are represented in several museum and private collections. He has been based in Los Angeles for over a decade with his studio in the Downtown Art’s District.
It’s our hope you can take 2 short minutes to watch this video about his commitment to creating extraordinary artwork that invigorates peoples lives.
Inside the Artist’s Studio
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