Richard's work on the streets and sidewalks of the city might be the mirror opposite of his representational oil painting. Just as the artist juxtaposes the staid, solemn, often dark scenes in his paintings with playful humor in his paintings he does quite the opposite with his street work. Instead of bringing the informal to the formal (like in his paintings) he brings the formal onto the most informal canvas ever, the sidewalk. A saucy bow-tie, the specter of death, a sincere and sober message in this context seems completely absurd.
212 Arts is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Paul Richard’s work in 5 years, “Drip”. Despite his abilities as a representational painter in the gallery setting, Richard’s street art possesses a playful sense of spontaneity and quickness as he manages to capture the quintessential short-hand features of his subjects with nothing more than a dripped contour line of paint. While most artists prefer the vertical spaces in the city's landscape, the drip by its very nature must be on a flat surface, but this is not even the main reason Richard works in this orientation. Even before 1997 when he first moved to New York, Richard has always recognized that people's attention constantly scans the ground in front of them making it the perfect place to find an audience. The recognizability and popularity of his drip work is a testament to Richard’s creativity in using the sidewalk as his canvas.