Decontrol Gallery presents paintings and sculpture by Rich Oliver, AMA Champion Motorcycle racer and artist
You could think of my painting as the result of years of racing fast motorcycles, somehow causing me to see these shapes in my imagination, then spinning them upon canvas like a high revving engine churning out horsepower.
Rich's web site
Article about Rich Oliver's art show from Roadracing world
Article about Rich Oliver's art show on decontrol from 2wf
Cycle News article about Rich's art show on decontrol.com
Superbike Planey article about Rich Oliver and Decontrol Gallery
US Superbike talks about Rich Oliver and his painting show on Decontrol
But the real painting story starts when I tossed out my TV four years ago, and I had nothing to do with all my new found extra time. Simple as that, I started to get interested in new things that went beyond racing, wrenching on engines and driving my team rig all over the country. Painting was one of those things that I added in to replace the zombie time box. One night I had this strange thought to pour paint down the side of a canvas, just to see what it would do. So I did and I was fascinated as the paint dripped down onto the floor, forming an abstract pool of color like magic. Now I've moved on from straight gravity doing all the work, but I still use it to help shapes develop the way I think they should in my water pools and streams, that flow on the canvas surface. I usually paint at night, cranked up on an Orbital beat which to me is the most beautiful of abstract music. I use store bought ready made canvas and lots of Golden acrylic paints, both liquid and paste, along with big blobs of heavy gel. Spatulas, brushes, sticks, knives, spray bottles, paper towels, lots of flying paint and water help it all come together in a few hours that feel like only minutes. I never know if it's going to be any good until the next morning, and some times it takes up to 3 days to really dry to the point when I can hang it. Sometimes I bend up metal sheet into strange shapes that stand up by themselves, and paint them for fun. I've made steel furniture, and even metal flowers in a glass vase. I traveled so much real ones would die. While I was racing I did manage to win a few races, (71), and several Championships, (5), on the way to being the best AMA 250 Grand Prix rider. But toward the end, I really don't know that I liked doing it all that much, even though I ruled the 250 GP scene and kicked ass winning 12 out of the 12 races in 2003. I'm happy I found a new outlet and a new challenge,and it's probably better for my insurance rates as I don't fall down as much painting as I did racing, although it has happened. Painting is actually a lot like going racing, you need a basic idea of what you want to accomplish, then the way to go forward is to do your best based on what you know, don't hold on too tight, and see what develops in the end.