David Rice fuses the natural and the man-made in his paintings, representing the possibility of a peaceful balance between the two. Featured here on our blog, and in our current issue of Hi-Fructose Vol. 39, his wildlife-filled works address themes like cohabitation, where people and animals are combined to create hybrid beings, often wrapped in colorful textiles. The Portland based painter is about to debut a new series, entitled “High Alpine”, his largest body of work to date.
Humans still play a role, but this new series seeks to portray animals, specifically North American wildlife, as their more natural selves- in the artist’s words, they are elevated to a more “equal position”: “There are references to space exploration, companionship and a re-interpretation of Norman Rockwell’s 1969 painting “From the Earth to the Moon” which celebrates the Apollo 11 team.” Other images offer glimpses of animals in fragments that meld together an organic style with graphic overlays.
The natural world continues to be David Rice’s greatest inspiration. “I grew up in Colorado exploring the surrounding mountains and that has carried over to my new home here in the Northwest. I really love the idea of what happens in a landscape when no one is around to document it. The stories we don’t know about because no one was there to witness them,” he says. David Rice’s “High Alpine” opens at Antler Gallery in Portland on May 26th.