Piece of Mine: A studio visit with Richard Ray Ingersoll
Richard Ray Ingersoll is an artist.
The story goes, when a young Rich and his cousin were furiously working on their crayon masterpieces. Rich’s cousin announced, “I am going to be an artist when I grow up.” Rich then replied, “I am an artist.”
“I am an artist” is a terrifying statement for many, but a driving force for Rich; allowing him to progress through multiple forms of art making and exploration before landing in visual art, where he now brings stunning narratives in oil to life.
Ingersoll’s work finds influence in music, psychology, history, self-analysis, and advances in artificial intelligence (AI). He considers his painting process to be similar to the act of dreaming, working primarily through instinct and forgoing a traditional plan. This process allows his work the freedom to expand beyond his conscious mind, and in turn, new metaphors and complexities begin to emerge. One look at riches work and it becomes clear that the female form has prominence throughout. Thinking of the female figure as the “anima” or inner-self of the viewer, these figures create an entry point; an “Eve” in the Genesis of each work.
Rich uses AI as a metaphor for human existence, a platform to discuss human rights and responsibility, and a mirror for the human psyche and inner connection as he unpacks psychological archetypes with moments of astounding detail and introspect. Each mark develops a dream for, or perhaps a fear of, the future. The work wrestles with what is to come and our place in history alongside our own technological creations.
“Within 50 years, we will be approaching technology that can improve itself, and at that point we would reach a technological singularity, where pretty much anything is possible.”