Chris Riccardo

Chris Riccardo received his BFA in sculpture from the College of Fine Arts at Boston University in 1990. In 1995, Chris opened  RDK Studios, a bronze-casting foundry, in West Palm Beach, FL. It is there that Riccardo honed his skills and began teaching figurative sculpture at the nearby Armory Art Center. Shortly after, he decided to sell his foundry and concentrate on his work and teaching.  In 2007, Chris was named the Director of the Sculpture Department and Foundry Manager.

Later that year, Chris had the opportunity to work with famed ceramic artist, Beth Cavener Stichter (now Beth Cavener). After watching and working alongside her, he became enamored with the art of clay, and began creating figures that were one-of-a-kind. Discoveries in clay led him to a residency with the Archie Bray Foundation in 2012, and that led him to fall in love with Helena, Montana. More recently, Chris has joined again with artist Beth Cavener and her husband, Alessandro Gallo in Helena to create the Studio 740 – housed in a 98 year old seed and feed warehouse.

My sculptures are a direct physical manifestation of my inner thoughts and moral struggles. They are frozen moments in time ripped from the ongoing struggle that takes place in my mind. The battle between good and evil, right and wrong and quite honestly a multitude of both morally and ethically questionable thoughts.
My head is swimming with insecurities and feelings that sometimes make it an uncomfortable place to be. I want my viewers to share in this discomfort, to really feel what it is like to spend a minute in my mind. If one walks away from my work and feels somewhat violated, excited, intrigued, and maybe even a little happier, than they truly know who I am, and I have succeeded.
My process begins with a thought, a vision, a look, a trigger that draws me to the clay. Gone are the days of exhaustive preliminary sketches and maquettes, I simply visualize how I want the clay to look and begin to throw it into a solid mass. Slowly and painstakingly I begin to build and tear at the surface, gradually making aesthetic changes as I see fit.
My glaze surfaces are scared and busy, random but precise. Once I feel that I have nothing else to offer the clay, I begin the task of tearing down the piece, gutting the sections, reattaching and preparing for firing. The work is generally fired to 04 as well as my slips and glazes. The glaze surfaces are rough but bright, helping to lessen the blow of what some see as a dark and disturbing sense of humor in my work.

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