Richard Deon: A Short Bio

Unknown men in black. A shadow at full sail. Abraham Lincoln. A flag of a flag.

Over the past 25 years, Richard Deon has created his own visual language of recursive imagery. His monumental paintings, prints, and sculptures are composed--and recomposed--with images and ideas culled from dreams, textbook illustrations, and history.

In his exhibition Paradox and Conformity, he arranges his themes in situations that mimic those of informative textbooks. Viewers find themselves in puzzling territory, where the seemingly familiar becomes an "an uneasy pictorial absurdity." Deon remembers his seventh-grade chance discovery of an old, defaced textbook, Visualized Civics, that changed his view of art, if not history. Taking editorial control, he defaced illustrations, extended new content into the margins and beyond. As Deon says, "I doodled my own Manifest Destiny. sort of an 'American social-surrealism.' I was later disciplined and issued a clean textbook, a bill, and a stern warning."

Deon has exhibited at the Hudson River Museum, CCC Strozzina, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, the Housatonic Museum of Art, and at university art galleries in several states. His work is included in a number of private and museum collections. He has received commissions from New York City's Public Art Fund and the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Richard Deon grew up in Potsdam, New York. He received a BFA degree from the School of Visual Arts in 1978. His art practice balances projects in publication design and visual arts.


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