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Biography


Richard Solomon is an artist who works exclusively with plant materials. His work takes the form of flat-pressed pieces and dimensional sculptures that include plant materials, such as seeds, pods, grasses, barks, flowers, roots and leaves.

Back in the early 1980s, suffering burnout from his high pressure marketing firm with its Fortune 500-laced client list in New York City, Richard decided to take a walk - around his land in rural upstate New York. His awakening to the plant world had just started to unfold while working as a consultant for the World Wildlife Fund. On one of those walks he saw a clump of dried grasses he hadn't noticed before. He stared at it for a long time…leaned down…pulled it out of the ground. He held it up to the sky and asked, "How can I make my way in the world using this beauty?" His life hasn't been the same since.

Richard dissolved his marketing firm and dedicated himself to exploring and learning from the forms of nature that he began to transform into unique artworks. For the last twenty years, Richard's work has been a self-taught, hands-on process of deepening and strengthening his collaboration with the plant world and all of their ensuing forms. His flat-pressed pieces convey light and simplicity, as well as the complex patterns of Nature, which can be still and in motion simultaneously. The late philanthropist and conservationist Laurance S. Rockefeller praised Richard for his "rare ability of making visual poetry in art…He takes that basic elements of nature and re-expresses them in spiritual terms that humans share and understand."

From working on flat-pressed pieces, Richard moved into collecting dimensional plant parts and his work took on the character of primitive artifacts. Richard's sculptures are made with different types of plant parts. Everything is tied, wrapped, sewn or bound with strips of the fibrous yucca leaf. Never string, wire, glue or anything unnatural. Noted anthropologist Joan Halifax notes that "Richard's work calls us back to those cultures and traditions who recognized and revered the seed and its display for life…it reminds of the unending beauty of a world that western culture has forgotten…his sculptures are medicine bundles of modern society."

In addition to his art, Richard is developing two imaginative projects that are central to his quest to reunite people and plants, including Matussa, a book on seed-time reversal (with writer Marlow Hotchkiss), a time when all the seeds, plants, grasses the world over begin to stop growing; and EarthWords, a global project he describes as an "earth language," in which messages and designs of peace, hope, and affirmation are planted with fast-growing grass seeds by millions of people around the world.

At home in his adobe studio fifteen miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Richard's prime motivation for all his projects continues to be "to make people understand that everything in our life directly or indirectly comes from a seed…Like tribal artifacts of native people, or a seedling reaching toward the light, my art crosses the threshold into magic and reminds us that we are all indigenous."

Richard Solomon's work has been exhibited throughout the Southwest and West. After a six-year hiatus from the art world, Richard Solomon has returned to bring art back to its original canvas - the earth.

Richard Solomon's work can be viewed at www.seedshaman.com. In addition to selling my work through galleries, much of the time I have sold my work privately from my website and studio. I recently began my art career again, after a six-year absence.

Education:
Woodbury College, Los Angeles, CA B. A., Marketing & Journalism

Galleries and Exhibits
Invited:
Arlene Lewellan, Santa Fe, NM
Café Express,Flagstaff, AZ
Limn Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Simply Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
Upstairs Gallery, Ventura, CA
Spider Woman Designs, Santa Fe, NM
Rituals, Los Angeles, CA
A Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
Earthworks Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

Juried:
2005 Southwestern Design Conference, Santa Fe, NM
Fountain Hills Art Show, Fountain Hills, CA
Scottsdale Fine Art Show, Scottsdale, AZ
Malibu Art Show, Malibu, CA

Media:
KSFR - "Living Juicy"
New Mexican - "Design Long and Prosper"
The Discovery Channel - "Christopher Lowell Show"
Pasatiempo/Santa Fe New Mexican Front Cover
Albuquerque Journal North "Connecting with Nature" (Front Cover article)
World Watch Magazine Back Cover
KOAT-TV (ABC affiliate)
Seeds of Change Catalog Front cover
Santa Fe New Mexican "Seeds of Art: Nature Provides
Raw Material Insights
Sedona Times "Nature Under Glass"
Southwest Art Magazine

Private Collections:
Laurance Rockefeller (deceased)
Joan Halifax
Donald Hess

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