'The Sitter', Richard Moon

Black and white portrait painting of a seated man looking downwards

Oil on canvas, 142 x 112cm, 2005

Artist's statement

My work strives to create a particular effect through the re-contextualisation of various images, taken largely from anachronistic photography and re-interpreted in oil on canvas. Images that are distanced by time and corrupted through manipulation produce an effect both of familiarity and uncertainty, and the paintings’ strong association with photography brings with them all the effects of loss, longing and nostalgia that is often experienced when looking at such imagery.

The sometimes subtle but frequently absurd liberties taken with the manipulation of source material produce an appearance of narrative, yet explain nothing. This is in order to leave the options open and invite the viewer to speculate and deduce their own interpretation of the work and the multiple meanings that may be on offer.

This personal interpretation is encouraged in 'The Sitter', in which I have tried to produce an ambiguous but psychological effect through the fusing of certain incongruous elements at an early stage in the painting’s development. This created an uncomfortable quality in the figure and an ambiguity that allows for such individual readings on the part of the viewer.


Richard Moon was born in Gravesend in 1971. He studied in London at Chelsea College of Art and Design 1998-99, Camberwell College of Art 1999-2002 and the Royal Academy Schools 2002-05. His exhibitions include The Next Big Thing The Gallery (Cork Street) London 2002, Premiums - Interim Exhibition Royal Academy London 2004, New Paintings The Wyer Gallery London 2005-06, New London Kicks Soho House New York 2006 and Concrete Allotment temporarycontemporary London 2006. Awards include The Keeper’s Prize Royal Academy Schools 2005. Has assisted artist Sol LeWitt (2003) and is represented in the Saatchi Collection London.