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RICHARD TUSCHMAN: The Paintings Behind the Photo

photo-eye Gallery RICHARD TUSCHMAN: The Paintings Behind the Photo In his own words, Gallery Artist Richard Tuschman describes how his love for masterworks by Van Gogh and de Chirico play a pivotal role in his most recent series Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz.

The Potato Eaters, 2014 © Richard Tuschman | 18 x 24" Ed. of 5, $2,300

As we near the closing of Once Upon A Time in Kazimierz, the most recent series by Richard Tuschman currently on view at photo-eye Gallery, we thought it appropriate to revisit a few of the original works in which Tuschman pays homage to. The exhibition has been widely well received and a common reaction or question we hear is “are these photographs or paintings!?” The works are in fact contemporary photographs and have an undoubtedly painterly quality. Through Tuschman’s unique process, he is able to recreate the lighting and compositions of the master painters who have inspired him, while having the works remain his own. Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Balthus and de Chirico directly inspired the series and the photographers he accredits are Bill Brandt, Duane Michals, Roman Vishniac, and Alter Kacyzne.

The Potato Eaters, 1885 - Vincent Van Gogh
"I was a painter before I was a photographer. As a very young person I was especially drawn to old master paintings for their beauty and technical virtuosity. As I got older my taste naturally expanded to include the expressive possibilities of more modern paintings, like Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters and de Chirico’s Mystery And Melancholy of A Street. I have loved both of those images for many years, and when I started the Kazimierz project they just seemed to pop into my head, and I knew from very early on that I wanted to somehow incorporate them. It is more or less the same with Bill Brandt. I first saw his images many years ago, and was blown away by their dramatic compositions and surreal mood. So again, I think these two images were in the back of my head. I did then search them out, of course, and look at lots of other images by Brandt as well. 
I am always on the lookout for, and taking note of, images that particularly affect me, whether they be paintings, photographs, posters, whatever. They can be either historical or contemporary, fine art or commercial. I keep a folder of these images on my computer, and also on my phone, so that I can refer to them wherever I am, for example on the subway. When I am in the early stages of a project, I am particularly interested in visual ideas I come across that I might be able to incorporate into that particular project. I am a big believer in stealing other people’s ideas, as long as it is out in the open, and I feel I have put enough of myself into it to make it my own. In moments of self-doubt I fall back on the Picasso quote, “I will steal from anyone but myself”. For me, this has been a very effective inoculation against writer’s block (knock on wood)." -Richard Tuschman 

Choshech (Darkness) 2015 © Richard Tuschman
24 x 18" Ed. of 5, $1,800
Nude Campden Hill, London, 1947 - Bill Brandt

Portrait of a Young Girl, Eaton Place, 1955 - Bill Brandt

Mystery And Melancholy of A Street, 2016
© Richard Tuschman | 24 x 18" Ed. of 5, $1,800

Mystery And Melancholy of A Street, 1914
- Giorgio de Chirico

In Tuschman's first project, Hopper Mediations, the artist largely pays tribute to, of course, Edward Hopper. Regarding Hopper, Tuschman says, “Hopper was a master at using light to expressively illuminate his subject. I also like the fact that almost all of his human subjects are contemplative. There is, for the most part, no action. This sense of quietude contributes to the open-ended quality of the narratives, and leaves room for significant emotional depth. This seems a lot like real life, and what I would like to carry over in my work.”  

Morning Sun, 1952 - Edward Hopper 
Morning Sun, 2012 © Richard Tuschman
18 x 24" Ed. of 9, $1,500
Morning In A City, 1944 - Edward Hopper
Morning In A City, 2012 © Richard Tuschman
18 x 24" Ed. of 9, $1,500
For additional information, and to purchase prints, please contact the Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x 202 or

Once Upon A Time in Kazamierz installed at photo-eye Gallery.