About "Richard Deon: Paradox & Conformity"
What's the Deal?
My seventh grade social studies instructor issued me a peculiar American history textbook. When I opened it, I discovered that a student from a prior year had defaced the illustrations. Mustaches and eyeglasses were drawn on historical figures; warplanes and speedboats were added to narratives like the Boston Tea Party. Delighted with this unexpected comic book, I took editorial control and began extending the illustrations by including unexpected content into the margins. By adding buildings, unknown objects, and creating new scenes I "doodled" my own Manifest Destiny. Within a few weeks, I was disciplined and issued a clean textbook.
The Story Goes On
During the last 25-years I have used a stare decisis policy [Latin for based-on-precedent]. The artwork in the traveling exhibition "Paradox & Conformity" is much like the defaced illustrations that I created in my formative years. Using a toolbox of recursive themes and deliberate erasure of context, a point of view is obfuscated as if in a dream.
Circus-size installations of paintings, banners, prints, and sculptures leave clues about far-fetched stories, and less than believable presentations. Civic-minded characters from another era illustrate a kind of social surrealism. Each new "Paradox & Conformity" exhibition is a chapter from an imaginary textbook that continues without end.
-Richard Deon, 7/2015
A Short Bio
The work of Richard Deon has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries in the United States and in Europe, including the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in Sedalia, Missouri; the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York; the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York at New Paltz; the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, Connecticut; and the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York; and CCC Strozzina at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy.
In addition, his artwork has been commissioned for various public art projects sponsored by New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority, the Public Art Fund in conjunction with New York City's Department of Transportation and the Norton Museum of Art, The Urban Center, New York City, and SGC International, Sam Fox School, Washington University, and Good Citizen Gallery, St. Louis, MO. Deon's work is also in public and corporate collections, including those of the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in Sedalia, Missouri; Museum of Modern Art / Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection in New York City; Pfizer, Inc., in New York City; and the Roland Gibson Collection, State University of New York, Potsdam.
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