The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jul 12, 2013

Up close and personal with Shannon Riddle

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

By Melissa Macker, The 567 Center for Renewal, Inc.

Macon artist Shannon Riddle has always known that he wanted to pursue art. There was a brief time when he quit painting, and he became physically sick. He realized, then, how much art helped him express himself. "Art is my language, the way I can most comfortably communicate." says Riddle.

Riddle is known for his “one stroke” painting technique. There is a slashing, stabbing, slapping technique involved; the application is intense and shows aggression towards the subject matter. He also works on a large scale, to make the painting confrontational. "In close proximity each mark is present and looks abstract, but as you recede from the painting it becomes more figurative," he says. It is a distinctive and intentional quality of his work.

"Cherry Pie" by Shannon Riddle

His current subject matter deals with food and celebrities. In trying to find his own identity, Riddle enjoys studying these items that can be “consumed” by the public. Riddle paints from photographs, so he is able to interact with the subject matter without it being physically present.

He likes to use as many colors as he can, using colors that typically aren't associated with portraits, like lime green and hot pink. Riddle is influenced by contemporary painters like Jenny Saville and Steve Penley. He often quotes Jenny Saville: "Only the experience of the present moment has reality, the painting is like a collection of all of those present moments."

Riddle currently teaches art at Georgia Military College. He also can be found teaching beginner and intermediate classes and workshops at The 567 Center for Renewal (a Knight grantee). His next class at The 567 is Corks & Canvas II on July 20. To learn more about his classes at The 567, visit their website "Jake Gyllenhaal" by Shannon Riddle "Jake Gyllenhaal" by Shannon Riddle

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