Richard Ackoon is a native of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. His uncle, Patrick Chu Foon, an accomplished Caribbean painter and sculptor, nurtured his artistic abilities and involvement in the fine arts. He moved to New York City in 1989 and has resided there ever since. He completed a BFA degree at the School of Visual Arts, had his first one man show in November 2001 and has participated in various group shows.
An early series of paintings explored the range of emotions and possible narratives transmitted through the model’s gaze, edited from various sources of printed media. The result was an investigation of the manipulation, construction and presentation of the modern male image in contemporary mass urban media and popular culture. Associated with this concept were the notions of desire, voyeurism, narcissism and the subliminal.
“I was trying to gain control over the abundance of printed, visual material which confronted me daily. The process of editing and transforming the found content onto canvas followed.
In 2010 I decided to focus on a new series of work. This new process enabled me to combine my knowledge of graphic design and fine art; to unite the bold, arresting, and instantaneous visual qualities of communication design with painterly aspects such as line, color, composition, balance, unity, and space. The result was a form of collage and a visual representation reminiscent of and inspired by Pop Art, utilizing art paper, an X-Acto knife, and an acid-free spray adhesive.
I drew outlines of the essential pictorial elements found within the images I chose to work from, concentrating on areas of shadow and contrast. The line drawings were transferred to the combination of art papers I selected. I used a sharp blade to precisely cut out the various shapes from the different colored papers, resulting in an array of seemingly unrelated pieces of paper. As these abstract, cut-out elements were arranged on a board, the image progressively began to take form and morph into the final composition.
My newest series is an expressive exploration with India Ink, brush and paper."
BFA, School Of Visual Arts, 1999