Featured Artist Member
Featured Artist Member honors the artist members of Berkeley Art Center, highlighting the breadth and variety of mediums, processes and concepts engaged by our community. Only artists whose memberships are current will be considered. To become a member, please sign up HERE. To fill out our Artist Member Informational Survey , click HERE.
Richard Whitlock’s oil paintings of toys are at once humorous and nostalgic, while empathetic in their almost human gaze - lovingly painted with accomplished realism. His treatment of the subject, set in dreamy atmospheres lacking a background, lends a warmth that leads one to see these objects as entities, turning still lifes into portraits. At the same time, one may find their set gazes unsettling. In an age where the ambiguity between object-hood and personhood are at an all time high, Whitlock reminds us of our time-honored affection for, and distrust of, facsimiles.
Whitlock began his career in painting later in life, though he has always been an active draughtsman. He has worked in Berkeley as a commercial printer since the 70s and has served in the US Army. Whitlock recently had a solo exhibition at Ohmega Salvage and has exhibited at Berkeley Art Center and New Amsterdam Café as well.
" I couldn't have painted when I was younger, now I can, and I'm bursting with ideas. My still life's use puppets, dolls and toys that populate my home here in Berkeley. I'm trying to achieve what NY Times critic Michael Kimmelman feels a painting should be: "a mirror we hold up that looks different to everyone who sees it, and whose beauty lies as much in us, and our capacity to dream as it does in what is on the canvas."
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