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 David Riedel  (1956 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Indiana      Known for: chiaroscuro still-life painting, portrait, printmaker

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David Riedel
An example of work by David Riedel
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
David Riedel was born in 1956 in Indiana and lived there until moving to Tempe, Arizona to study art.  He fell in love with the Southwest, graduating from Northern Arizona University in 1982 with a BFA in printmaking.  David still lives in the Southwest near Taos, New Mexico with his wife and daughter.

In 1986 Riedel began attending courses at the Art Students League in New York City and continues to retreat there every year for an intense month of drawing and painting.  It was at the Art Students League that he first met and studied under internationally acclaimed artist David Leffel.

It is easy to see the influence that Leffel has had on Riedel.  Similar to the Old Masters’ style of chiaroscuro painting, most of Riedel’s works are characterized by their deep background color, lending a certain vibrancy and energy to his subjects.  His use of dramatic lighting and rhythmic color, combined with a sense of solid composition, produces work that for many collectors is timeless in its appeal.

David Riedel considers his primary instruction to be from Leffel, yet he also feels the importance of many fellow artists in both Taos and New York.  The excitement of interacting with other artists creates a milieu in which he finds opportunities for artistic growth.  Riedel believes that creating fine art is not solely a result of acquiring and refining technical skills, but of the larger practice of a complete and unified awareness in life. "Painting is a clarification process: it is an evolution of who I am."

During 1993-1994 Riedel lived for six months in Nepal, India and Tibet, traveling and studying the culture and language.  Walking and sketching along the way, Riedel found the spontaneous portraits done in teashops, amid roadside landscapes and in the bustling monasteries to be the most exciting and rewarding usage of his skill and talent as an artist. "I hope someday to return to Tibet and wander, doing portraits.  This would be a great counterpoint to the very quiet, contemplative time in my studio."

Riedel has collected beautiful objects from his many travels; those from India and Tibet are among his favorite for still-life arrangements.  "Many of the objects I choose to paint have a powerful meaning for me personally.  The chain of antique Tibetan bells, the conch, the Shiva statue, or even the bone-like quality of a living white onion is very beautiful, yet they also have great symbolic value for me.  This awareness subtly works with me while I paint - this is a very personal search for meaning and there is no intent to ‘say’ anything to the viewer - but this meaning changes me as a painter and so becomes a part of the painting."

David Riedel’s work is shown nationally and collected internationally. He has been exhibited in several national competitions and won awards in the 1995, 1996, 1999, and 2000 Oil Painters of America exhibitions.

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