Richard Wade paints colourful, lively, meticulously detailed work inspired by the surrounding objects, places and people within the landscape. He will be showing his work at the Brighton Art Fair.
Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?I studied Fine Art at Falmouth College of Art. It was a really amazing place to study, Cornwall is really beautiful and a very inspiring place to be based for three years. I found that as a student we were very much left to our own devices with very little input from the tutors. In my first year I was put in a studio with about 15 other first years a little way away from the main art school, we were all quite anarchic and spent too much time having fun and not enough time getting on with our work. I would say that I found the freedom was great if you knew what direction your work was heading but not so good if you were struggling with direction or ideas.
Is being an artist your only job, or do you have other employment?
At the moment I am working full time as an artist, however for the last five years I worked as an assistant to an established London based painter whilst continuing with my own working practice. This was a really good experience as I worked on some very interesting projects including two residencies in museums and a show with a major London dealer and it set the bar quite high in terms of the quality of the work that was being produced and level of professionalism expected.
One favourite living artist?Colour plays a big part in my art and although I had always been aware of Peter Doig as a successful artist, when I saw his solo show at Tate Britain in 2008 it just completely blew my mind. His work in the flesh was so immersive and vivid, it really stood out.
One favourite historical artist?
When I was studying for my A level art I chose Claude Monet’s watercolours for my personal project. I went to see them at the Musee de l’Orangerie and it was like viewing iconography in a chapel they had real transcendental qualities about them.
What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?I really enjoyed working as an artist’s assistant. Although we were working to very high standards, it was quite a relaxed and fun atmosphere and I really enjoyed the work and felt although I really wanted to be there and learn as much as possible.
If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?I really like Wim Wender’s work. My dissertation at Art school was based around his film Paris Texas and I found him to be really fascinating and complex as a character. Seeing an exhibition of his photographs at the Haunch of Venison in London was really mesmerising he has a really special way of capturing images and making them seem unique.
At age 16 who most influenced your style?
At the age of 16 I remember being a big fan of Diego Rivera’s work.
Last book / film that blew your mind?The last film that I thought was really amazing was Drive, it is definitely going to be talked about for years to come. The last book I read which was really good was Fifth Business by Robertson Davies the first book in the Depford trilogy.
What music are you currently listening to?Am listening to a lot of M83, I Break Horses and Lanterns on the Lake, but loads of other stuff as well.
How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?I deliberately don’t take my laptop to my studio with me so that I don’t get distracted, otherwise I could be trawling away for hours on end.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
I loved San Francisco when a friend and I travelled down the Pacific Coast High way about five years ago it is definitely my favourite American City it felt very liberal, artsy and cultural. Failing that I think the equivalent in England is probably Brighton. I have always enjoyed visiting whenever I have been and there always seems to be loads of interesting stuff going on.
Where and what is your studio?At the moment I am two months into a one year residency at the Anteros Arts Centre in Norwich. An Old Tudor building close to the centre of. I am in a glass fronted shop which is at one end of the building so people walking by in the street can watch me painting, which takes a little getting used to.
Do you have a good work/life balance?
At the moment I am trying to really make the most of this year so am going to my studio about 6 days a week so my life is a lot about work and not much about life at the moment so the balance is probably not great- but enjoying it none the less.
What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?Exciting.
What would your dream commission be?To do a series of paintings inspired by a road trip across the USA.