Alibi V.27 No.31 • Aug 2-8, 2018 

Art Magnified

Scaled Up

Fox Richards' paintings put matter under a microscope

Fox Richards painting
Fox Richards

“My paintings are an abstracted look at what we see in everyday life, as if viewed under a microscope, but projected onto a larger surface,” Fox Richards explained about her upcoming solo exhibition of oil paintings titled Micro & Macro at Sidetrack Brewing (413 Second Street SW) throughout August, with an opening on Friday, Aug. 3.

The paintings spring from a lifelong practice (“I'm told I started drawing as soon as I could hold something to draw with,” she said), and years-long interest in the “comparisons and contrasts that can be made when viewing something from afar and then close-up, as if through a microscope.” The pieces that will be on display throughout the cozy brewery evidence Richards' commitment to the concept—some were completed a few months back, some almost three years ago. That timeline left room for the work to evolve, “[it] became increasingly abstract as I explored it,” she said. “It was great … to let the aesthetic inform the outcome instead of starting with a specific subject matter. … Now it's as if I'm creating mutations instead of relying on what exists in the natural world.”

For Richards, who is also a tattoo artist at Sacred Arts (303 Rio Grande Blvd. NW) focusing on her practice outside of her profession allowed her to explore “broader gestures, and to be more devil-may-care.” Though affinities for natural imagery surface in both, “people are always surprised when they see one type of my work after becoming familiar only with the other.”

Holding that it is important for art to be accessible and easy to engage with, the setting of Sidetrack felt natural, “having a comfortable setting makes it so much less intimidating,” she observed, adding, “and have you tried their beer?”

Relaxed into the environment of the brewery, and taking in her examinations of life in all its wonder, and on all its scales, Richards hopes that some might walk away with “a sense of curiosity” and the idea that each of us can be our own artist or scientist in order to investigate the connections and magic of what exists around us—big or small.

Stop in at Sidetrack for the opening of Micro & Macro on Friday between 6 and 10pm. The artist will be on-hand and able to answer questions, and will also have a select number of prints and original drawings for sale. Connect with her on Instagram at @fox_richards; commission your own original piece of Richards’ tattoo art by visiting sacredarts.com.