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Robert W Richards: Couture Érotique
Saturday, October 21, 12:00 pm - Tuesday, October 24, 6:00 pm
Opening: October 20, 6-8pm
Exhibition: October 21-24, 12-6pm
Couture Érotique is an exhibition of fashion illustrator Robert W. Richards, featuring gender-blurring illustrations that examine the relationship between masculine and feminine aesthetics within the genre of fashion illustration. This exhibition of drawings depicts the muscular male form adorned with ‘feminine’ objects such as feathers, lace, and jewels; playfully juxtaposing binary interpretations of gender to celebrate depictions of masculinity and femininity.
“Having the courage to wear what a man pleases is the most defining and boldest of male characteristics — true masculinity!” -RWR
Robert W Richards is a legend in the worlds of art and fashion in New York. Couture Érotique is a series of works combining his beginnings as a fashion illustrator and his love of beautiful men. His drawings integrate years of observation and attention to detail with the playful sense of humor for which Richards is so well known. For decades, he has been an ambassador for the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art and will donate a portion of all proceeds to the Museum.
Born in a French-speaking industrial town in Maine, Richards left home at age 14 to become an artist in the nearest big city, Boston. Acquiring an early interest in jazz, he heard all the jazz greats, later befriending legends, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, Peggy Lee and others.
He created album packages for Lena Horne, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra to name a few, and many posters for Broadway shows. After moving to New York, he plunged into the world of fashion, sketching collections in Paris, Rome, Milan, and Los Angeles for three American newspapers and completing beauty illustrations for L’Oreal, Clairol, and Revlon. In the late 1960’s and 1970’s, he created illustrations for fashion designs on the runways of Paris, London, Milan and New York.
Image credit: Robert W Richards, ‘Man in Earrings’, 2017, Mixed media, 14 x 11 in. Courtesy of the artist.