The exploratory and improvisational approach to making art we find in Richie Culver’s growing oeuvre can be seen as an outcome of the tensions between binary cultural and social opposites — provincial vs. cosmopolitan; cash-strapped vs. affluent; art museum highs vs. street-cultural lows. In what seems an examination of ones experience and inner self, the material outcome of this attitude to creativity can take any one of a range of forms, from gritty documentary photography (much of it made during a period working on a trailer park) to urban bricolage, from primitively executed drawings and paintings through to video. Highly style conscious and yet pragmatic, there is a kind of punk aesthetic at work in Culver’s approach both to art-making and to exhibiting.
With his most recent high profile shows to date taking place in the key Norwegian art city of Stavanger and the antiquarian bookshop Maggs Bros in London Mayfair, he would demonstrate that with the right attitude an artist can communicate in one of any mediums, be that found magazines, satellite dishes, milk crates, a Ventolin inhaler … and even his own heartache. One memorable strand of these shows, and of his work to date, commemorates the street poetry of his bid to rekindle an extinguished love affair. Culver went to his ex-lover’s house in the dead of night and wrote on the wall, in large hand-painted letters: ‘I Loved You, You Just Couldn’t See It’. The technology is crude and urban; the sentiment behind it however is ancient and pan-cultural.