Rikki Niehaus

As an artist I see everything as a potential painting. Painting is, for me, a direct connection to the past, a chance to ‘time-travel’ and relate immediately to the whole of artistic tradition that preceded me. Working with representational images and portraiture is joyful and inspiring; where the piece is a portrait, I especially enjoy pictures that confront and engage the viewer directly. I am interested in various subjects, but I always come back to portraiture.

As I go on painting portraits, the backgrounds have become increasingly important. I see people on certain chairs, which I feel reflect some aspect of their being. That led to my recent series, Swedish Landscapes, which I painted from images in the nation’s largest IKEA, Burbank.

I find inspiration in many genres including Medieval and Renaissance art, comics, Golden Age illustration, abstract expressionism, and completely conceptual works. My strongest influences are the German and British painters of the early to mid twentieth centuries.