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"I completed a MFA in painting from Rhodes University in 1989 but never saw myself as disciple of that school with its persistent regression to the “Grahamstown Group” which was primarily a neo expressionistschoolconcerned with Landscape Painting in an impasto technique.

I do however continue to identify with an “Expressionist, Neo Primitive” approach which declares the emotional and psychic forces central to the human condition as their subject. This approach champions a spontaneous directness in technique and frequently makes use of accident avoiding too much pre-thought and planning. With this method less attention is given to a carefully crafted surface as to the acceptance of an immediate vigorous mark to symbolically represent reality.

I remain deeply interested in the work and philosophy of Jean Dubuffet 1901 – 1985. Dubuffet coined the term “Art Brut” which refers to the works of self taught artists who work spontaneously from a position outside of the “Art Mainframe”.

These artists are frequently less concerned with exhibiting and work as unknowns until their chance discovery (or not) by curators. My intentions, like theirs, have less to do with recognition and reward as with fuelling an intimate dialogue with one’s individual psychic self.

[In the late 20th Century “Outsider Art” became an accepted and marketable oeuvre influencing the work of young street artists with curated shows in the major art centres of the world; see Juxtapos magazine]

My own artistic productions have always been sandwiched between my teaching commitments but I have always “worked”, using art as a buffer and an intermediary between my day to day existence and my inner reality, a meditative practice which acknowledges and facilitates a conduit to my inner stirrings. Somewhat in kin with the “Outsider” but never labelling myself as an “outsider artist” (which immediately implies a contradiction with my training, practise  and profession as a art educator) I have situated myself on the fringe of the “Art Scene” preferring to work in relative isolation exhibiting infrequently mostly on group shows with the occasional one man exhibition.

The most significant period of my career was teaching Visual Art at an International School in Tamil Nadu, India. I sought India to provide me with an alternative to my perceived Western notions of beauty, religion and intellectual thought. It was there that I developed my current “style” and use of mixed media with collage.

As an artist outside of the popular discourse who, on the surface, seemingly displays little of mainstream socio-political references, I never-the-less display a valid interaction with and response to my cultural environment. My prolonged stay in India forged a strong international mindedness within me more in tune with a developing world attitude rather than a Euro/American centric position. In a local context I discourse within the wider African situation rather than a particular South African attitude. My work, I would argue, reflects these attitudes.

My works are mostly Mixed Media underpinned by my strength in drawing, displaying a spontaneous individualistic approach to my subjects which are autobiographical symbolic representations of my shared experiences rather than a display of literal content.

In 2012 I underwent major surgery which caused me to re-evaluate my priorities and redirect my energies away from teaching to the full time exploration of my own work. To this end I acquired the position as “Artist in Residence” at Driftwood Studios, Rainbow Valley, East London. 

My current body of work is the result of that stay. I am now commitment to expanding my position as an artist within a global art market and as such am exploring possibilities for exhibiting in SA and abroad and looking to engage with a promoter who can identify with my artistic vision." - Richard Pike

Group Exhibitions 1985 – 1989
End of Year Students Exhibitions – Rhodes University
Standard Bank National Drawing Competition
Group Exhibitions 1990 – 1992
Standard Bank National Drawing Competition
Development Bank of South Africa
Solo Exhibition, Drawing Shop, Johannesburg, 2000
Solo Exhibition – Art Works, Kodaikanal, India, 2006
Group Exhibition, Gallery Beyond, Mumbai, India, 2007
Group Exhibitions 2009 – 2011
Somerset West, South Africa
These Four Walls, Cape Town, South Africa
Solo Exhibition Mural, American International School of Mozambique, Mozambique, 2012
East London, Jikeleza Festival, 2013
George Kockott with Richard Pike, Driftwood Studios, 2013
The Framery Art Gallery, Sea Point Cape Town, 2015
Aardvark Gallery, Kalk Bay, Cape Town, 2015

Richard Pike
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Title: The lamp
Size: 20 x 32 cm
Media: Mixed Media
Price: R 5 800 Framed

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