Interview by Tara Sasiadek:
The Buffalo Expat Network, the Emerging Leaders in the Arts and HandsOn Greater Buffalo are pleased to present the echo:
Art Fair which connects experienced collectors and first-time buyers
with emerging local, regional and international artists in a centralized
and creative environment; the Buffalo Central Terminal. echo:
Art Fair will showcase a broad scope of fine art disciplines, including
painting, photography, sculpture, print, works on paper, video and
combined-media. echo will commence with a VIP Reception on July 8th, 2011. On July 9th, the echo:
Art Fair will run from 9:30am until 5:30pm. The After-echo party, also
to be held in the Terminal, will take place shortly after the ending of
the fair featuring live music from The Albrights, Alex Kelly, and will
wrap up with a dance party featuring DJ Cutler and AVDJ PROJEX. Here is the next in a series of Buffalo Rising interviews with one of our featured artists, Richard Stamps:
Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Richard H. Stamps and I am a photographer, and have been a non- camera based artist for over thirty five years. I have received national and regional awards in various disciplines and had numerous one man and group shows in the Midwest and Northeast. I have traveled extensively in the United States and abroad doing commissioned fine art and social documentary photo assignments. My graphics have been used to benefit the Buffalo Zoological Society and Amnesty International. Some of the awards are:
-2008 51st Chautauqua National Exhibition of American Art, Strohl Art Center at the Chautauqua Institution Cash Award
-2006 Buffalo Society of Artists 110th Catalog Exhibition 2006 – (11/03/06 – 01/07/07) Allentown Village Society Award
What are the most essential elements of your work?
Color, Tension in Composition, Dual Points of Convergence, minimalism, spiritualism, irony, beauty, whimsy, and a lust for a new realism that hasn’t been seen before.
If you had to choose only 5 materials or tools to work with, what would they be?
Digital SLR Camera, Oils, glass, wood, metal
Would you describe your artistic education as a guided or self guided journey?
Self-Guided, with a formal and informal arts education. My thanks go out to all the authentic artists who create, that I learned from. The people like Helen Lyman, Earl Mc Donald and Jane Clary-Miner who supported me in my artistic evolution.
Do you have a connection to Buffalo?
Yes. My Aunt Helen Lyman was a professor emeritus at the University of Buffalo Library School, and my uncle Vreelandt Lyman was an artist from a prominent Buffalo family. My father’s family were from Niagara Falls, New York, and my mother’s family were from Wilson, New York. My lovely wife Elizabeth was originally from Orchard Park, New York and we currently reside in Collins, New York. I am also a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Is there a Buffalo landmark or meal you plan to visit or have while here?
Since I have lived in the area for several years, I would suggest Niagara Falls, the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Buffalo, Letchworth State Park. Dining at Daniel’s Restaurant in Hamburg, Ambrosia’s on Elmwood. Enjoying the arts: The new Burchfield, Sheas, Albright-Knox, Shakespeare in the Park and eating extra hot wings at Doug’s Dive on the Waterfront.
How do you define success as an artist?
To conceive a vision, then follow an idea’s conception through to its final culmination. Allowing the observer to understand the intent of the creator. Remuneration should not be the prime motive for ones art as it will limit the vision of the artist. I have kept my integrity and have not ignored the lessons of other truly talented artists. Being fortunately selected from an elite group of artists to participate in the Echo Art Fair.
Can you share with us a harrowing tale of an artistic disaster?
Although the resulting photographs were not an artistic disaster, one shoot in particular comes to mind.
I was shooting for the Afrikaner Research Center in Buffalo New York in the Republic of Haiti in 1996, after Baby Doc Duvalier government had been overthrown, I was going through security at the American Embassy when one of my large camera flashes started making a whirring noise which alerted armed guards who immediately pointed their weapons at me and asked me what was in my camera bag. Without opening the camera bag I reached inside and manipulated the batteries out of the errant flash, professing sincerely all the while that nothing was wrong. After the noise stopped, I opened the bag to show them there was nothing to be afraid of. They lowered their M-16’s.
Do you have a set schedule for studio time? How do you structure your creative life?
No. Mostly in the early morning and when something needs to be done, I do it.
Can you tell us about where you find resources or inspiration for your work?
I am always on the lookout for new cameras, papers, programs through various camera magazines and online. I have an extensive home library that I have accumulated over the years.
Recent inspirations for my work: Music: Bats for Lashes; Literary: Jim Harrison Arts: Paul Gauguin, Milton Rogovin
What quote or mantra or words of wisdom do you have for other creative types?
My restless visual interpretations are there for the viewer to grasp if they can be tantalized into being detectives. I have attempted to challenge the viewer by alienating them from what is visually comfortable, which I believe should be a prime artistic goal. By making an assault on the viewer’s sensibilities, it disrupts their preconceived notions, making them react. This reaction makes them think. It is the ultimate goal in the creation process.
Where can we find more of your work?
Keenan Art Center, Lockport, New York – Permanent collection Erie Art Museum, 88th Annual Juried Spring Show, which runs from April 16, 2011 to June 2.
For full details on echo: Art Fair, visit the site at www.echoArtFair.com, or find us on Facebook.