Rick’s paintings have appeared on countless science fiction, fantasy, and comic books, including Sandman, Stephen King novels, and the first digitally painted book cover for William Gibson’s Necromancer. Over the years Rick has split his time between illustration, galleries, and paintings for theatrical performances. Throughout, his work maintains a sense of otherworldliness, a searching feeling of almost being there.
For Cabaret, Rick created series of large scale drawings during the rehearsal process. The drawing were developed and then placed into lit boxes along the audiences path to the club-style seating in the theater. He said of the Cabaret paintings:
These are not renderings but impressions of dancers from the KitKat Klub, the setting for Cabaret. As I watched rehearsals, the movement coach, Steven Mitchell Wright, had the performers go through Butoh training. I’d heard of Butoh, seen stills from various dances, but never experienced it in action. Crushing really. So instead of doing some sort of rogues’ gallery pastiche (as had earlier been imagined being hung in the venue) I did these.
I wanted something like images of ghosts projected on smoke and ash. Just at the moment you think you’ve resolved them, they shimmer and erode before your eyes.
Color paintings of a world that’s lost all sense of it.
The paintings will be on display at the Society of Illustrators’s 53rd Annual Exhibition, February 23-March 19. The awards ceremony is on March 4th.
Irene Gallo is the art dircetor for Tor Books and creative director for Tor.com.