Approved: 30.03.2016

Richard Starbuck

Artist

Approved: 30.03.2016

The black mane of hair which fills many of these works, acts as a trope for mystery and concealment. It is what we cannot see, but suspect is there, which is more alluring – or terrifying. The hair functions like a stage curtain, a semi-permeable integument which separates us from the unknown. I have long been fascinated by various underground belief systems, from ufology and cattle mutilation to alien abduction and corn circles. It is not so much that I have a belief in any of these cult phenomena; it is more particularly a fascination with the social and psychological systems of belief which underpin them. This series of sculptures function as road signs on the superhighway of the sinister, warning of the imminence of a monolithic portal to the supraphysical. 

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  • Location: London
  • Artforms: Painting, Sculpture
  • Tags: ufo, flying saucers, book cover, painting, gloss, design, science, book art
 

Biography

The black mane of hair which fills many of these works, acts as a trope for mystery and concealment. It is what we cannot see, but suspect is there, which is more alluring – or terrifying. The hair functions like a stage curtain, a semi-permeable integument which separates us from the unknown. I have long been fascinated by various underground belief systems, from ufology and cattle mutilation to alien abduction and corn circles. It is not so much that I have a belief in any of these cult phenomena; it is more particularly a fascination with the social and psychological systems of belief which underpin them. This series of sculptures function as road signs on the superhighway of the sinister, warning of the imminence of a monolithic portal to the supraphysical. 

I wanted to use household objects, something familiar and everyday. Coat hangers and brooms have similar characteristics to the body, I was interested in exploring this and changing the inanimate object into something that could be sinister and possibly alive. At the same time I wanted to create some sort of shape that was hidden, concealing/cloaking it with black hair. Attempting to give the viewer a sense of the uncanny, Sigmund Freud, concerned the notion of the unfamiliar (Das Unheimliche) conflated with the familiar; an example would be the uncertainty as to whether an unconscious person is alive, and conversely whether a doll or robot is truly non-sentient. The use of hair is uncanny in itself, as hair detached from the body becomes something else. It was once attached to a living thing, but is dead and now bodiless.

CV & Education

Born 1981, London. Lives and works in London.

Selected Group Shows:

Early Warning, &Model Gallery, Leeds 16th March - 2nd April 2016
The London Art Group Open 2015, Cello Gallery, London 26th Oct - 6th Nov 2015
Open West 2015, The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum,  Cheltenham 16 May - 28 June 2015
Standing On the Frontier Vol 2, Unit 24 Gallery, London 24 April - 8th May 2014
Barbican Artworks Open Prize 2013, Artworks Project Space, London 30th Aug- 22nd Sept 2013
The Story of the Creative, The Angel Orensanz Foundation, New York 25th July - 10th Sept 2013
The Georgie Project, The Griffin Gallery, London 4th Dec 2012
The Threadneedle Art Prize, Mall Galleries, The Mall, London 26th Sept - 13th Oct 2012
The Perfect Nude, Charlie Smith Gallery, Curated by Dan Coombs & Phil Allen, London 5th-28th July 2012
Candid Berlin, Universität der Künste, Berlin 03–18 May 2012
The Cow & Angels, Hendershot Gallery, 195 Chrystie Street, New York 4th Nov - 9th Dec 2011
Drawgasmic, 2720 / Art Dimensions Gallery, St. Louis USA, July 10th 2010
What Happends After the Ball? Decima Gallery, 55-56 St. James's Street, London 4th December 2009
Jerwood Space, (Installation) London Jan 2007

Solo Shows:

Chaetophobia, Strange Glue Studios, London 12th Dec 2015

Art Prizes:

Shortlisted for The Threadneedle Art Prize 2012
Shortlisted for the Barbican Artworks Open Prize 2013

Education:

Fine Art Degree at City & Guilds London Art School 2003 - 2006
Masters at City & Guilds London Art School 2006 – 2007