Jesse Richards (born July 17, 1975) is a painter, filmmaker and photographer from New Haven, Connecticut and was affiliated with the British art movement Stuckism. His work, which has been described as "brutally honest" and "street truth" currently focuses on the ideas of wabi-sabi, mono no aware and the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence.
In 1999, Richards was arrested for reckless burning, destruction of property and disorderly conduct. After the charges were dropped, he began painting.
Richards' short Super-8 punk film co-directed with Nicholas Watson, Shooting at the Moon premiered in 2003 at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. On March 8, 2008, Shooting at the Moon made its London premiere at Horse Hospital during its FLIXATION Underground Cinema Club event.
Richards commented about the film in this 2006 interview:
...before this there was usually nudity in my films, and I wanted to do something opposite- in this the couple doesn’t even kiss- they almost do while dancing, but then it doesn’t happen. While making this film I guess the main thing we were thinking about accomplishing was to express this emotional experience, and have people really feel it, and not to get too complicated with story or anything that would distract from this feeling we wanted people to have while watching the film.""
After a break from production for a few years, Remodernist film recently began seeking funds for new films in August, 2008. On August 27, 2008, Richards published a Remodernist Film Manifesto, calling for a "new spirituality in cinema", use of intuition in filmmaking, as well as describing the remodernist film as being a "stripped down, minimal, lyrical, punk kind of filmmaking". Point 4 notes,
"The Japanese ideas of wabi-sabi (the beauty of imperfection) and mono no aware (the awareness of the transience of things and the bittersweet feelings that accompany their passing), have the ability to show the truth of existence, and should always be considered when making the remodernist film."
Richards currently lives in Granby, Massachusetts.
Richards affiliated with the Stuckists movement in 2001 and founded the first Stuckism center in the United States in 2002, helping to organize shows. The center opened its doors with a show entitled "We Just Wanna Show Some Fucking Paintings."
To "highlight the fact that the Iraq war does not have the support of the United Nations, thus violating a binding contract with the UN", The Clown Trial of President Bush took place at 7 p.m. on March 21, 2003 on the steps of the New Haven Federal Courthouse, staged by local Stuckist artists dressed in clown costume, led by Richards with Nicholas Watson and Tony Juliano. One of the participants was "a public defender for the state of CT. He thought it would be cool to dress up with us as clowns and do the thing. He ended up playing the clown judge. The courthouse that he works at is a block away from the federal courthouse where we did this."
Simultaneously the Stuckism center opened a War on Bush show, including work from Brazil, Australia, Germany and the UK, while the London equivalent staged a "War on Blair" show. The Yale Herald reported with the headline, "Stuckists scoff at 'crap,' war". Richards took the opportunity to comment:
Duchamp would go over to the Yale University Art Gallery and he would say, 'This is crap,' and he would go paint a picture."
In 2004, Richards was included in the Stuckists' first national gallery show, The Stuckists Punk Victorian, which was held at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool during the Liverpool Biennial. He said of his exhibited work, Nightlife: "This came out of heavy drinking and loneliness. New Haven's social scene is entirely going to bars, so it was my only way to meet new people."
In 2006, Richards was one of the featured artists in the Triumph of Stuckism, an exhibition of new Stuckist paintings curated by Naive John as part of the Liverpool Biennial 2006. This was Richards' last show before leaving the Stuckists.
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