Richard Davidson was a city lawyer for 27 years before pursuing a second career as a successful painter. This corporate background plays a prominent role in his work, visible in his repetitions of everyday objects and their associations, such as row upon row of polished shoes, or office suits and ties tidied neatly in a wardrobe. Most of these commonplace, inanimate objects are painted against isolated, unadorned backgrounds of block colour. Richard finds extraordinary artistic qualities in the ordinary, recognisable objects that we see every day- from paper grocery bags to umbrellas. There is something distinctly quirky and appealing about the importance he gives these ordinary objects in his paintings. Yet are they painted with fondness, reflection and nostalgia for his days as a solicitor, or disdain for the robotic repetitiveness of routine in contemporary corporate life? The paintings, with their shoes in lines like little soldiers, or empty suits standing faceless on the canvas, certainly evoke a sense of loss of identity, uniformity and containment, further enhanced by the unidentifiable coloured backdrops.
The sense of isolation reflected in his “city” paintings also informs his more recent paintings of single trees, pillows and other “objects”. However, the artist has always stressed that his paintings should conjure the viewer’s own individual associations with these inanimate objects, whether it be a comforting, positive and familiar association or a negative one.
Richard paints with an ordered, clean painterly style that is extremely pleasing on the eye. He honed his existing talent for painting through a B.A. in Fine Art from the Wimbledon School of Art, preceded by an art foundation course at the Chelsea College of Art. He has had many successful solo exhibitions in spaces such as the Clapham Art Gallery, the Groucho Club in Soho, Riverside Gallery in Richmond, Eyestorm Gallery and the Zimmer Stewart Gallery.