The five years he spent producing videos for Ford Motor Company were critical to Rick’s development as an artist. “Through my time in video production I learned that my main interest was in manipulating images to cause a connection with a viewer.” This drive eventually led Rick to explore computer graphics and animation, and ultimately brought him to the fine arts program at Eastern Michigan University, where he intended to major in graphic design.
Consistent with his inconsistency, he never took a graphic design course. Rick’s exposure to oil media, oil pastel on paper, and oil on canvas led to a passion that replaced technology as his means of making images—and making connections with the observer.
Rick ultimately earned his B.F.A. cum laude with concentrations in drawing and painting and minors in art history and telecommunications. He is motivated by his interest in visual investigation. An important area of exploration: boundaries. “I take great pleasure in exploring the slight difference between something being recognized as an arm and being recognized as a landscape. I don’t want specifics. I’d rather create little visual playgrounds for people to have some fun with. If my work were whittled down to bare essentials, that’s it. It’s about wanting to enjoy an image that evolves, that will have some life of its own–that over time remains enjoyable to look at.”
Rick often opts for texture over detail to achieve the forms in his works. “I enjoy creating anonymous figures because it encourages interpretation, and brings a sense of the infinite. To me, concealing the identity of figures and environments is an invitation to the viewer. That the viewer brings something to the work that makes it personal for them is important to me. Art becomes memorable when people make their own connections with it. In my work I have sought to make these associations possible by creating starting points. Each viewer then goes their own way.”