Riley Holloway’s work represents a fresh and dynamic approach to figurative art. Combining oil painting, charcoal and hand drawing, the artist creates both depth and immediacy within his portraits, reaching at intimate translations of his diverse subjects. By engaging the “unfinished” aspects of the work, as the raw canvas or traces of his process as nails’ holes, the artist emphasises a raw and utilitarian quality of the artwork, while the charcoal and drawing, as well as the gentle brush stroke of the artist testify to the fragility of the individual. Through the bold painterly technique, a softness is mediated despite the wild markings. Thereby, the works constitute a striking counterbalance of roughness and intimacy, being gentle, yet strong. His images are often accompanied by text and other personal references of both the artist and his sitter. This straightforward technique creates content rich in both drama and history, yet utterly truthful to its subjects.
„My work begins with the individual. I‘ve always been an observer of people and I run into individuals who inspire me through their fashion, personality, or conversation. I am for creating pieces that are rich in storytelling (…) letting the individual‘s narrative drive my work. I use traditional drawing and oil painting techniques to communicate the qualities of eachindividual.“
Riley Holloway was born in Los Angeles in 1989. He developed an early interest in art, learning the rudimentary painting skills from his mother, an artist herself. Holloway attended The Art Institute of Dallas and the Florence Academy of Art, where he focused on traditional drawing and oil painting techniques. Following his artist residency at The Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Holloway had had his first solo exhibition in 2013, based on the individuals he encountered during his residency. The body of work, entitled “SHOOK!!!”, became a political standing for the artist. Withreferences from Frederick Douglass to Mobb Deep, Holloway’s mark-making images challenge the viewer to stop being “scared to death and scared to look.”