Since the events of 2016, Rich Sheaffer has been developing a genre of art he calls Socio-Political Abstractionism, an art form in which hot-button social topics being divisively debated in the political milieu are “abstractionized” and expressed via painting in abstract form to inspire discussion.
Since the events of 2016, Rich Sheaffer has been developing a genre of art he calls Socio-Political Abstractionism. While political art is common, it has generally taken the form of such things as cartoons and caricatures. Socio-Political Abstractionism, in contrast, is an art form in which hot-button social topics being divisively debated in the political milieu are “abstractionized” and expressed via painting in abstract form, to inspire thought and discussion. Such works are primitive expressions of dreams or visions that express the events and angst of our time in history. His works are experimental and inspired by current events; he never knows from the onset how the final work will appear.
Topics covered by Rich have included societal fear and anger, climate change, human rights, assaults against diversity, truth versus “alternative facts”, degradation of kindness and compassion, migration issues, attacks against democracy, risks of conflict and war, self-created chaos and so on.
Before art became his passion, much of Rich Sheaffer’s prior career in engineering and management was rather mundane. The exceptions were when he did not follow conventional wisdom and explored on his own without necessarily doing things the accepted, “correct” way. That is when breakthroughs occur, discoveries are made and quantum improvements can be initiated. It is with that spirit that Rich creates art by inspiration and imagination rather than more conventional rules of how art should be created.
Rich’s works reflect the angst of a common man regarding events occurring in society, in the USA and internationally, and some of his works have also predicted future events. When events are so outrageous that he is left with a loss for words ... he paints. Rich resides in California and is active with the Artists Guild of the San Diego Museum of Art, the Artist Alliance of the Oceanside Museum of Art and others.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist