My friend, artist Richard Dupont produces work that merges technology with more traditional artistic methods such as painting and sculpture.
Several years ago he used a laser scanner to create nine nude sculptural figures that were exact replicas of a body
at different stages over a 5-year period. They were displayed in the street level courtyard at Lever House. This spring, he has two shows that
showcase his incredible range of work. Right before the openings, Richard sat down to discuss his artistic beginnings, his inspiration,
and the amazing new project he has planned for Manhattan’s Columbus Circle.
When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?
I hadn’t really considered it until I was pulled aside by a teacher in high school who strongly encouraged the idea.
You have two exhibits this spring, tell us about your show Going Around by Passing Through at the Carolina Nitsch Project Room.
This installation is very process and materials oriented. They are basically these large hanging rubber “skins” made by brushing rubber over a form and then
pulling them off and hanging them on the wall. You see everything at once—inside, outside, front and back.
Tell us about your other show, Shadow Work at Tracy Williams. How it is different?
If the Nitsch show is raw, then this one is cooked. Shadow Work has many references, from Jungian psychology to surveying and surveillance.
A number of the works are large topographic maps that I have either created or altered in various ways. I have also made some
very exciting new pieces by laser scanning some simple little burlap and gesso paintings that I made, and then
enlarging them by 500% and casting them in resin and marble dust.
Where did you draw inspiration for your recent work?
It’s an intuitive process that grows out of extensive reading and previous work, and then waiting for ideas to come.
Sometimes things arise out of mistakes in the studio, and sometimes the process is more of an execution of an idea.
These shows have quite a bit of both.
What do you hope people will take away from your work after seeing it?
The desire to see more.
The two shows demonstrate what an incredible range you have as an artist,
why is it important to you to have such variety in your work?
It’s not planned. That’s just the way my process works.
Some of your work combines technology with more traditional artistic methods—what do you like about pairing the two?
These are the techniques and processes of our time in terms of design and architecture, as well as industrial and military operations—
scanners, GPS systems, industrial printers and computer assisted fabrication.
This fall, your work will be included in Out of Hand (Materializing the Postdigital) at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design.
Tell us about the work that you have in that show.
I will have a large sculpture from 2008 in the show. They have also approached me to present a major new large scale sculpture
to be installed in front of the museum on Columbus Circle. It will be a 15-foot tall cast aluminium form
based on a scan of one of the hanging rubber “skins” in the Carolina Nitsch show.
How does New York inspire your work?
I was born here. But I have lived in New York City since 1977 when I moved back with my mother and brother. I was 8 years old.
The peculiar dynamics never cease to surprise. The energy is infectious, but it is also corrosive. I love to be here, but I also love to leave.
What is next for you?
I have started to work in Maine in the summer in an empty boat hanger, and I will be working up there in late July and August.
I will also be working on the large sculpture for Columbus Circle.
Going Around by Passing Through at the Carolina Nitsch Project Room, 534 west 22nd Street
will be on display May 2nd through June 29th
Shadow Work at Tracy Williams, Ltd., 521 West 23rd Street,
will be on display from May 2nd through June 28th