NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University and The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House will present “Dead Souls,” a solo exhibition by Richie Budd showing Feb. 7 through March 24 at Cole Art Center. The exhibition opens with a reception for the artist from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7.
For his exhibition “Dead Souls,” Budd presents new biomorphic sculptures that suggest meaning through shape and sensation. The forms include multi-sensory devices such as Halloween ghost projectors, sound components, fans that distribute the smell of essential oils, popcorn makers popping, and George Foreman grills that allow the artist to cook hotdogs. Through these sculptures Budd hopes to entice an affective encounter for gallery visitors that cultivates their future memories. The artist's intention is to “coax a S.E.E. (Significant Emotional Event) in the immediate now, causing a direct link between the reference structure of the memory and the experiences in the future.”
Budd’s new works are part of his continuing study of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a model of communication and psychotherapy that considers patterns of behavior and lived experience – essentially “how we create one’s own subjective reality and how brains have mechanisms in place to help people communicate in particular ways.” Budd is interested in hypnosis as a means to uncover the power of the unconscious mind and how this works with the help of human senses. In this context, he explains, his sculptures function as a type of sensory tool as he investigates how people organize and communicate their thoughts.
“Dead Souls,” Budd’s exhibition title, is a reference to Nikolai Gogol's Russian novel of the same name – a novel known for its satire and reflection on moral behavior. Gogol describes various social encounters between Chichikov, the social-climbing main protagonist, and a vast array of characters; their interactions navigate the past and present, the living and the dead. “Dead Souls’ is also a title of a song on Joy Division’s 1988 album “Substance.”
Budd lives and works in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and is best known for creating performances, sculptures and installations involving the five senses. He has exhibited nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions “Dumpster Dive,” Chelsea Mini-Storage, New York (2015); and “Performance/Residue: Schläger,” Triangle Arts Association, New York (2012). Group exhibitions include “Julmarknad,” Galleri SE Konst, Falun, Sweden (2015); “Schläger performance” at Hands On An Art Body with Homecoming Committee, Oliver Francis Gallery, Dallas (2012); and “The American performance,” VideoKonstFestival, Magasinet, Falun, Sweden (2011). In 2008, Budd was an artist-in-residence at Artpace, San Antonio, with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, and received critical acclaim in international press for his collaboration with Will Robison titled “C'mon Guy” at Scope Art Fair in 2011. In addition to exhibiting his work, Budd has also taught studio art including appointments at Texas Christian University, Finnish Academy of Art, Helsinki, Finland, and the Bergen National Academy of Arts, Bergen, Norway. Budd holds a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of North Texas and an MFA in sculpture from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is also a licensed trainer and coach of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. For more information about the artist, visit instagram.com/richie_budd_art.
“Dead Souls” is part of “Persona,” a touring exhibition organized by the Art Galleries at Texas Christian University.
Admission to the exhibition and reception, which is sponsored in part by William Arscott and the Friends of the Visual Arts, is free. The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, SFA’s downtown art gallery, is located at 329 E. Main St. Gallery hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call (936) 468-5500.