Richard Butler studied painting at The Epsom School of Art & Design (now the Surrey Institute for Art and Design). His portraits are haunting tableaux, blurring any distinction between portraiture and contemporary art as they spin in intoxicated slow motion.
The portraits are paintings that haunt. They call upon both classical technique and slow motion and freeze frame, specific to video; thereby they blur any distinction between traditional portraiture and contemporary practice. Since the early 2000s, Butler has painted his daughter almost exclusively: "Ninety percent of the paintings I do are based on images of my daughter, usually distorted in one way or another," explains he. He develops a body of intimate, almost dark portraits with abstract elements that cover part of the face: thick make-up, masks, confessional screen, veils and shrouds, create a labyrinth of psychological states that the viewer is invited to go through in order to understand. the subject.
In fact, Richard Butler's paintings associate the melancholy of classical beauty with a state of unreal dream in which a disturbing silence floats. The artist affirms that “these are only paintings…”. He regards these portraits of his daughter as authentic self-portraits - a sensitive reflection of his “own psyche”.