Richard W. Waggoner has lived, painted, drawn and digitized in the greater Atlanta area for the past 34 years. He grew up in New Orleans and Minneapolis, with short stints in Iowa, Colorado and Mississippi. Richard drew his first crayon portrait of his mother when he was seven years old and something clicked into place immediately. Since then, while holding a variety of “day jobs” he has constantly been creating visual imagery of many kinds. Richard attended Georgia State University, majoring in drawing and painting and history. He did post graduate work at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta where he majored in illustration and graphic design and graduated with honors. Since finishing school, Richard has worked primarily in the corporate marketing industry. There, in addition to working with traditional media, he developed an extensive facility with digital methods and has done a great deal of computer illustration. Richard currently lives and maintains a studio in Duluth, GA, just outside of Atlanta. He is the father of two grown daughters and recently became a grandfather, and thus, very wise.
"Look where we will, we are confronted by mystery; by the incomprehensible. Here at the start of the 21st century, we find our old, traditional systems of understanding and belief rapidly fading from view, while very little that is tangible arises to replace them. The realms of science peel away layer upon layer of the onion, with each successive layer revealing that what we thought we understood about the mechanics of the universe to be in error. The more we learn, the greater seems our ignorance. And yet we continue to strive.
One of the ways I attempt to make sense of this great, chaotic existence is to make art. The images I have created fall somewhere, I suppose, between the cubist and the abstract. I am fascinated by the way an image can be fractured and reassembled into different layers and new arrangements to create a new way of perceiving what we take to be reality. Perhaps I think that by breaking the old familiar patterns and making of them something at first glance incomprehensible, we can find fresh methods of understanding these chaotic lives of ours. A large amount of my work deals with myth and ritual. This has become a major thematic element in my work as I attempt to make connections with our ancient history and our ancient lives, with our present experience and with experience to come.
Additionally, I feel that we have become too accepting of the trivial and superficial. Our contemporary American experience is overrun with phenomena lacking in substance. We readily accept names of products, taglines of commercials and participate in events that are meaningless and without nourishment. I, therefore, wish to challenge the viewer of my paintings to work a little harder, dig a little deeper in hopes of providing more than a candy bar for the eyes. Like eating organically, it takes some getting used to after a lifetime of cheeseburgers, but quickly becomes a lot more satisfying. We have been more or less human beings for roughly 2.5 million years. Throughout this span, we have asked, “Why are we here and where are we going and what does this all mean?” We are still asking these questions and do not seem to be much closer to answers. Yet still we try. I think that making art is one way of at least letting us feel that we are asking the questions in the right language."
See more of Richard’s artwork and design at - www.themetronome.com/pages/MetronomeArt.html.