Painter Rick Gillis specializes in earthy, symbolic mixed media works that range in subject matter but all express a deeper narrative meaning. Rick‘s works frequently have an antique look and feel that gives the viewer the impression of relics from a time long passed.
Rick’s most recent works are eclectic both in material and subject. In several pieces, the artist incorporates strips of burlap that add interesting abstract texture, as well as creating an visual parallel to ideas of work, rural living and a sense of blue-collar Americana. Despite this often-romanticized underlying theme, many of Rick’s recent works seem to have an edge of protest or political anger. Grotesque, skeletal figures and moments of isolated text offer the viewer emotional clues without a direct answer or instruction.
The highly symbolic edge of many of Rick’s works reminds me a little of the work of David G. Taylor. Where David’s works tended more toward the spiritual and esoteric, Rick’s works hint at issues that are more immediate and visceral.