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Richard Tuschman

For nearly three decades, Richard Tuschman has been creating poetic photographic images for book covers, magazines, advertising and gallery exhibition. In the early 1990's, he began experimenting with digital imaging and eventually developed a unique style that synthesized his interests in graphic design, photography, painting and assemblage. Considered a pioneer in the use of digital media for arts, Tuschman has been recognized by, among others, American Photography, Print, AIGA, Photo District News, American Illustration, and Prix de la Photographie, Paris.

Tuschman is a recent winner in the international competition Center Choice Awards for his Hopper Meditation series, in which he re-stages paintings by Edward Hopper. He is also a first place winner in the Peaches & Cream International Juried Photo Exhibit, and his work has been shown extensively in group and solo exhibitions around the world. It has been spotlighted in numerous publications on creative process. Tuschman has lectured widely on his technique and has taught at Ringling College of Art + Design and several other academic institutions. He currently lives and works in Queens, NY.

 
 
 

Hopper Meditations; series


2010-2012
Archival pigment print on Somerset Museum Rag 320 gsm

Hopper Meditations is a personal photographic response to the work of the American painter, Edward Hopper. Tuschman has long admired the way Hopper's paintings, with an economy of means, are able to address the mysteries and complexities of the human condition. Placing one or two figures in humble, intimate settings, Hopper created quiet scenes that are psychologically compelling with open-ended narratives. The characters' emotional states can seem to waver paradoxically between reverie and alienation, or perhaps between longing and resignation. Dramatic lighting heightens the emotional overtones, but any final interpretation is left to the viewer. These are all the qualities Tuschman hopes to imbue in his images as well. In other ways, his pictures diverge from Hopper's paintings. The general mood in Tuschman's work is more somber, and the lighting is less harsh than it is in Hopper's. He tries to achieve an effect perhaps closer to the chiaroscuro lighting of Rembrandt. To Tuschman, the lighting acts as another character, not only illuminating the form of the figures, but also echoing and evoking their inner lives. In a way, he would like to marry the theatricality of Rembrandt with the humility of Hopper. Tuschman thinks of his images as dramas for a small stages, with the figures as actors in a one or two character play. The characters, by appearance, are rooted specifically in the past, somewhere in Hopper's mid-twentieth century. This augments the dreamlike, staged effect of the scenes. The themes they evoke, though—solitude, alienation, longing—are timeless. Thus there is a subtle tension between the particular and the universal, and it is here where, in the artist's words, "hopefully, one finds some poetry"

 

 
 
 

Still Life; series

1999-2012
Archival pigment print on Somerset Museum Rag 320 gsm

This series of still-life montages digitally layers tabletop photography, painting and assemblage. Though the process relies heavily on technology, it is important to Richard Tuschman that the work conveys a sense of intimacy and emotional weight, qualities that one does not often associate with technology. He sees the works themselves as mood pieces, exploring themes of loss, vulnerability, longing, growth and decay. The fragile beauty of birds, flowers and small plants is an apt metaphor for the ephemeral preciousness and variety of life itself. Tuschman is drawn to organic materials such as wood and oil paint for their primal physical presence. He had been working with these materials for many years before digital technology, so it was natural to incorporate them into his digital work. Tuschman is also intrigued by the way early photographic techniques left artifacts of the process on the finished print, adding both an abstract poetry and a reference to their creation. With this series, he is after a similar effect. The scanned and photographed painted textures in the montages are built layer upon layer of brushed, scraped, rubbed and glazed oil or acrylic paint. One step leads to the next, applying the pain in one way or another, then responding to that, over and over. When he is compositing the scanned textures and photographs on the computer, the process is analogous. Instead of applying layer upon layer of paint, he is continually re-working layers of images and textures, trying different opacities and blending strategies, dodging and burning, etc. Tuschman sees each new layer as analogous to an event in the life of the pieces, one leading to the next. In this way, even those layers that end up invisible in the finished version, much like forgotten events in our lives, have somehow contributed to the whole

 

 
 
 
 

Young Adult; series

2007-2012
Archival pigment print on Somerset Museum Rag 320 gsm

This series of solitary women in various bucolic settings began as an unrelated sequence of commercial assignments for fiction book covers, many of them historical. More recently, they have taken on a life of their own, evolving into an ongoing project. Richard Tuschman receives much of his inspiration from vintage photography and old master paintings, so historical fiction comes naturally to him. The painterly landscape treatments in the series reflects his affinity for the melancholy trees of 17th century Dutch painters Rembrandt van Rijn and Jacob van Ruisdael, while the figures themselves draw heavily on the wistful, ethereal young women of the 19th century photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. It is the artist's hope that each young protagonist, through variations in wardrobe, pose and setting, is seen as having her own story. One has her eyes cast down pensively. Another is caught frozen in exuberant mid-twirl. Another, arms spread, delicately balances on a railroad track. Still another is running fast towards the edge of the frame, possibly echoing the fleeting nature of youth itself. Or perhaps they are all aspects of the same story, sharing common themes of self-discovery, beauty, vitality on the one hand; and on the other, fragility, impermanence and loss.

 

 

CV

Education
Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1978, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Selected Exhibitions

2014 - Solo exhibition, photo-eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2014 - Solo exhibition, Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2013 - International Photography Awards Best of Show Exhibit, NYC
2013 - Exhibit No. 9, Inaugural Group Show, Asbury Park, NJ
2013 - Prix de la Photographie, Paris, 2013 Award Winners, Paris, FR
2013 - Curve Exhibition, 2013 Center Award Winners, Santa Fe, NM
2013 - The Magic of Light, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT
2013 - Mysterious Visions,  PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT
2011 - Peaches & Cream, Dreamspace Gallery, London, UK
2008 - Society of Illustrators, Annual Juried Show, NYC
2005 - Man & Beast, Emily Davis Gallery, University of Akron, Akron OH
2004 - Bits & Pieces, Case Western University, Cleveland OH
2002 - Group Exhibition, Bockrath Gallery, Cleveland OH
1995 - Hopper House, Two Person Exhibition, Nyack NY
1989 - The Garden, California State University, Hayward CA
1987 - Group Exhibit, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, NYC
1985 - Solo Exhibit, Kathryn Markel Gallery, NYC
1985 - Precious, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, NYC
1984 - Group Exhibition, Kathryn Markel Gallery, NYC
1984 - Precious, Chrysler Museum, Norfolk VA
1984 - Bathers, Coe Kerr Gallery, NYC
1984 - The Figure Witnessed, Kathryn Markel Gallery, NYC

Awards/Publications

2013 -LensCulture Exposure Awards 2013, Third Prize
2013 - International Photo Awards, 2nd Place, Digitally Enhanced Category
2013 - Critical Mass Top 50
2013 - International Kontinent Awards, 1st Place, Fine Art Projects
2013 - American Photography 29, 2 chosen images for online gallery
2013 - Center Choice Awards, 3rd Place Editor's Choice
2013 - Prix de la Photographie Paris, Silver Medal
2012 - Critical Mass Finalist
2012 -Prix de la Photographie Paris, Gold Medal, People's Choice
2012 -Prix de la Photographie Paris, 2 Bronze Medals
2011 - 1st Place Award, Peaches & Cream, International Juried Photo Exhibit, London, UK
2010 - Creative Quarterly, featured winner of quarterly competition, photography
2010 - Photo District News, annual juried show
2010 - Philadelphia Addy Awards, silver medal illustration
2009 - Art Revolution-Alternative Approaches for Fine Artists and Illustrators, by Lisa Cyr. North Light Books. One of twenty artists profiled
2008 - Dynamic Graphics Magazine, book jacket project featured and discussed
2007 - American Illustration 26, chosen image for online gallery\
2005 - Society of Illustrators, NYC, annual juried show
2005 - Florida Magazine Association, bronze award for illustration
2005 - Folk Creative Grant, The University of Akron
2004 - Folk Creative Grant, The University of Akron
2004 - Florida Magazine Association, Charlie Award for illustration
2000 - Dimensional Illustrator’s International Juried Show, three bronze awards
1998 - Agosto Magazine, feature article, Japanese graphics magazine
1995 - Folio Ozzie Award, silver medal for magazine illustration
1994 - Print Magazine, Digital Annual Issue
1994 - Print Magazine, Messing With Pixels, Illustrators and Their Computers
1993 - American Institute of Graphic Arts, Fifty Best Book Covers of 1993

Teaching Experience

September 2009–May 2011
Adjunct Faculty, Ringling College of Art + Design, Sarasota, FL
September 2004–May 2006
Special Lecturer, The University of Akron Myers School of Art, Akron, OH
September 2005–May 2006
Adjunct Faculty, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, OH

Lectures/Public Speaking/Workshops

2008 - Massachusetts College of Art, Lecture, Boston, MA
2007 - School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Lecture, Boston, MA
2006 - The Maine Photographic Workshops, Workshop, Rockport, ME
2004 - American Greetings Corporation, Workshop, Cleveland, OH
2004 - Akron Beacon Journal, Workshop, Akron, OH
2004 - Cuyahoga Community College, Lecture, Cleveland, OH
2002 - The University of Michigan School of Art, Lecture, Ann Arbor, MI
2002 - The Cleveland Institute of Art, Lecture, Cleveland, OH
1999 - The Illustration Conference, Panel Moderator, Santa Fe, NM
1997 - Digital Technique Conference, Featured Speaker, New York, NY
1997 - Digital Technique Conference, Featured Speaker, Monterey, CA