Born in London, 1966, Richard Folland is the son of the late Ron Folland, one of the UK's most successfully published painters during the late sixties and seventies. Richard Folland studied a Fine Art Degree at Ravensbourne Design College, and after graduating in 2002 set himself up in a design company. Now focusing on his painting full time he is beginning to exhibit his work across the UK and has works in private collections. Folland seems equipped to realise success to match his father's and his exhibition at London Art is testimony to this.
Folland meditatively remarks, "I see my work developing in a way where to some extent I am just a passenger. I hope they will develop in an organic way creating a body of work which mirrors life." His work exhibits an Abstract Expressionist painterly character; an effect achieved using mainly oils smeared with brushes, fingers and different textured cloths, crafting areas of thinly applied paint strewn with patches of rough impasto surface. Folland's work is, for the most part, figurative veering towards the abstract or surreal. His distorted figures communicate some of the most primitive human emotions; anger, pain, joy. The greater part of Folland's work is visually challenging and while some of the images are more formal in their presentation, others adopt a comical appeal. This amusing quality is best realised in the globular, bulbous and apparently melting features of Cigar Man or the bug-eyed, clown-mouthed face of The Grumpy Man. Folland's figurative work exhibits a preference for boldness and austerity, and much of his distorted imagery can be said to pay tribute to the Francis Bacon in its resemblance [A Cry For, 2005 and The Wounded Man, 2005]. Having said that, when reviewing the work of an artist who calls upon his unconscious for artistic inspiration, you can expect the occasional wildcard, and for London Art's collection it is Mr and Mrs, 2006. A far stretch from Bacon, Mrs and Mrs is painted in a style more comparable to the 1980s Neo-expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat!
Like many creatively minded people, Folland reveals that his inspiration comes principally from the people he comes into contact with in daily life; strangers, friends and family. He works from a combination of notes, sketches, photographs and memories. Folland is an artist with an eye for seeing things from a new perspective - it may well be said that this quality is the essence of all creativity. He reflects, "My studio overlooks the garden which is dominated by an old twisted apple tree", and proving an uncanny skill of perceiving the extraordinary in the ordinary, he adds, "The tree changes depending on the light and season and takes on an almost human form which can inspire my work". To paraphrase the philosopher Nietzsche, people are divided into two groups, the minority who make much of little, and the majority who make little of much. The ability to see the people and things around him as though they were new, enables Folland to continually find magic in the mundane and convey this by means of his art work.
To view Richard's gallery please click here