Rick Becker

About the Artist

Rick is a self taught artist who started painting full time in 1989. His first solo exhibition was at the Sanlam Centre, Pretoria, in 1989. Since then, he has had numerous solo and joint exhibitions throughout South Africa. In 1990, he was invited to participate in a joint exhibition and art workshop in De Bron, Holland. He continued to live and paint in Holland for 6 months and during this time focused on commissioned abstract pieces. Upon returning to South Africa, he moved to Cape Town and apart from painting was involved in other art forms such as ceramics and designing. His preferred medium is oils/acrylics on stretched canvas. The Karoo is Rick’s main source of inspiration for his landscapes. His works manage to capture the solitude of the region, and seemingly simple images such as a rundown farmhouse or rusty old car wreck, evoke a sense of nostalgia in the viewer. His abstract works range from geometrically orientated works, to loose, thickly textured pieces, sometimes making use of an encaustic technique which fuses pigments and objects, and also allows for some translucency.

"Inspiration for my landscapes is drawn from the Karoo. There is something about the Karoo that resonates with my soul. The vast space, crisp skies, unusual rock formations and “koppies”, coupled with the solitude of the area enable one to find rest from the hectic and often destructive way of life considered the ‘norm’. The sky is God’s canvas, and the colours you will often see during a Karoo sunset seem surreal; hue’s of oranges, pinks, greens, purples and reds combine in one sunset ignoring all art- schools rules of colour combinations. There are so many images apart from the natural beauty of the area that I find appealing - farm houses, simple labourer’s cottages, a windmill, a rusty wreck, washing hanging on a barbed wire fence etc.



Artist Statement

I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music - Joan Miro

My art - deeply interwoven through my being, is my music, my poetry... the evidence of my existence, which, at a superficial glance, could be labeled chaotic or abstract. Yet like all things in life, when considered with a degree of sensitivity, reveals a deeper level of engagement with this mystery we casually call life...it is my solid, passionate response to the stimuli of being alive with it’s imperatives to question ...who I am, who you are and why are we here?
Around me I see confusion, pain and chaos.
I see beauty, kindness and forgiveness.
I see disorder.
I see order.

This is how I then paint... some works are geometric, clinical, painted smoothly and planned to some extent. Others are very spontaneous; the paint applied thickly with a palette knife - a relinquishing of the need to be in control as I allow the paint to run, using diverse methods with liberal experimentation to usher the image into unexplored, intuitive landscapes where colour and energy can speak a truer word than reams of intellectualization.

Images are there: waiting to be recognized and that is exciting....invariably I am just as surprised at the end result as anyone else. I’m part spectator, part contributor in the divine process of creation.

There are days when I simply cannot paint, and if I do, the artwork will acquaint itself with the blade of an axe. However, when “it’s happening” and the inspiration is there, nothing else matters at that moment in time and I feel God’s pleasure in me being both authentic and purposeful!