Monday, October 25, 2010

Artist Richard Claraval @ Spinning Plate Gallery

THIS SUN OF ROBERT by Richard Claraval, Spinning Plate Gallery, 5720 Friendship Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15206, November 1, December 31, 2010. Opening Reception: Saturday, November, 13, 2010, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

An unusual feature of this show is that the artist will actually work on new pieces in one portion of the gallery throughout the run of the exhibition.


Being the child of a verbally abusive father is a terrible thing, but like all disasters it has the potential to be used for good. Artist Richard Claraval likes to think of the profound anger left over from his painful childhood as a small sun inside him. Like the real sun one cannot get too close or it will consume him, but, also like the real sun, it contains tremendous energy which Mr. Claraval taps into to give greater intensity to his art. In his new solo exhibition titled, “THIS SUN OF ROBERT”, opening on November 1, at The Spinning Plate Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pa., he uses one sculpture which directly addresses his childhood as a touch stone to all the other work in the show.

“The Prison of My Youth”, consists of a ripped, jagged, black and red, life-sized self portrait suspended in a rough wire cage. Gnarled ropes, twisted into some of the cruel things Mr. Claraval’s father said to him when he was a child, pierce through the body from one side of the prison to the other, holding it in place. This piece will be situated at the point of the triangularly shaped gallery, with the rest of the work radiating outward from it, shifting from darker more intense, to brighter more optimistic. These will consist of seemingly massive sculptures that project more than nine feet directly from the walls from tiny cross-sections, along with drawings that fuse the human figure with gestural abstraction. All of the sculptures, along with the figure in “The Prison of My Youth” are made of Styrafoam, and coated with a hard polyurethane polyurea skin.

The title of the exhibition, THIS SUN OF ROBERT, refers to the first two lines of Shakespeare’s Richard III,

“Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of York;”.

Mr. Claraval’s internal “sun”, so painful when it was created by his father, Robert, is now helping him to overcome his troubled past, to forge a happier life for himself, and perhaps even a “glorious summer” before the end.


The Pittsburgh Art Blog

The Pittsburgh Art Blog features selected pittsburgh artists and upcoming exhibits with photos from the artists and galleries. since the major press outlets do not go beyond a directory listing of exhibits, blogs are needed to promote pittsburgh artists and their work. the blog also calls attention to the inferiority complex of pittsburgh art and how it's perpetuated by the major players in town. Started on August 20, 2007.pittsburgh area galleries and art venues are listed at the sister site

the blog and website are volunteer projects from fine art photographer and pittsburgh artist advocate rick byerly,