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Nowadays, the visual history of art and culture, apart from the exact evidence and artifacts, can be discovered in magazines, do-it-yourself books, textbooks, newspaper, etc. Inspired by these images – whether found in print or online – and their historical and cultural references, Brian Rideout canonizes them as oil paintings. Even though his initial interest was in illustration, Rideout began working his way through different styles and movements. Over time, he developed a more traditional painting technique and started working in his current style.
“Images are these amazing documents of time and place, and I think it’s important to recognize and contextualize them within our collective ongoing history.”
With a theme in mind, Rideout carefully looks for sourced images to help him create the paintings that will showcase that theme well. Fascinated by art and interior designs, Rideout’s work depicts inclusion of mid-twentieth century furniture and abstract artworks, thus representing art-filled interiors. In a way, the artist offers the viewer a window into the past and reveals a history of time and place, thus creating a series of paintings within a single artwork.
“I like to think about how my work exists on a continuum, and how, as a painter, I am in a dialogue with the history of visual arts.”
On the widespread walls of these rooms, there are lavish collections of modern art paintings: it seems like the aesthetics of these artworks dictate the design and the atmosphere of the interior. Interestingly enough, when Rideout chooses an image, he treats it as an individual object on its own, which means that inaccuracies in the printing process of the source photo are a part of it when it’s transformed into a painting. The printer often changes the colors of an image, and Rideout likes to keep them that way, creating a unique homage to the pieces of art and cultural history. Working in representational painting, Rideout’s interiors have been his longest-running series.