Richard Alan Young/ Body of Eight
Introduction

As a child growing up around the Detroit area in the 1960s I was influenced by HotRod culture, Mouse/Kelly studios, D.H. Lawrence and early science fiction films. I attended schools in northern Michigan, eastern Washington and western Oregon eventually settling in southern Idaho. My work stems from three primary investigations: an analysis of 19th Century painted representations of nature, an inquiry into media/process as conveyor of meaning, and the use of irony and humor to suggest psychological and philosophical dilemmas.

Godzilla Series

This series evolved from a group of paintings that incorporated select still life objects and images drawn from reproductions of 19th century landscape painting (See "Other Related Work").The titles of the paintings reflect this two-fold appropriation; “Godzilla” + “In the clouds at Sunrise” (a well-known painting by 19th century painter Frederic Edwin Church). I am interested in creating a synthesis of 19th century landscape paintings by Church and Thomas Cole and images drawn from 20th century science fiction and popular culture. My focus on Godzilla stems from my personal collection of toy Godzillas and the mythical nature of film's character that was paradoxically perceived as an innocent, aggressor, victim and avenger.

Comparative Panels

After focusing on the neo-synthesized narrative for several years my research led me conceive of a smaller body of work titled "Comparative Panels" which separated the object and the landscape into two discreet panels. More paintings from this series will be posted at a later date.

Detachment

In early 2000 my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I thus began a series of work that explored issues of detachment, alienation and medical technology. The head of Godzilla was featured in several of these paintings and later returns in my most recent series titled "Disturbance in Echoville".

Closure

After working through the "Detachment" series I began to explore and utilize other anthropomorphic segmented head forms. This led to the use of the Isopod as an isolated close-up image on a circular wood panel. Its form is presented in side and frontal-view with its curious multitude of "legs"(similar in form to the teeth of Godzilla). I was and always have been intrigued by the Isopod's ability to roll up into a ball when threatened. I must admit that one of these paintings reminds me of a planet-eating life form from an infamous "Star Trek" episode.

Chamber

During work on the "Detachment" series my research led me to consider other insect forms such as ants. I was particularly drawn to the curious and cruel toy "ant farms" which fascinated me as a youth. Further study led me to ant colonies and egg chambers which I used as the basis of this series. The works were completed using egg tempera and oil.

Other Related Work

This portfolio presents several earlier works that influenced the Godzilla series and one painting that I am very fond of titled "Northern Voice I" (1985)

Wanderer Above the Domestic Sky

This title references the stunning and influential painting by Caspar David Friedrich titled "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog" (1918). The back of Godzilla in presented in four paintings, each using a near identical format. The viewer is left to speculate on Godzilla's expression as he faces a tamed landscape drawn from selected paintings of Frederic Edwin Church.

Disturbance in Echoville

These four meditative paintings are related to the previous series and are meant to be presented as a group. The detached head of Godzilla is presented floating through a landscape also drawn from selected paintings of Church. The title refers to the continuous repetition of the matrix. Watch for new postings in the next few weeks.