Richard MacDonald

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Richard MacDonald

ARC Living Master TM

American 21st Century Realist sculptor

Born in California

  • Artworks
  • Biography


Richard MacDonald is world renowned for art that reveals a profound understanding of the human experience and which celebrates the ascendancy of the human spirit. His fascination of the human form and with mankind's broad emotional range has inspired him to create dynamic, sensitive works, each infused with a quality that withstands the passage of time, taste, and trend.

Born in California, Richard MacDonald is an artist both classically trained and self–taught – this paradox can be seen as part of the reason for the striking originality of his work. Classical training in the discipline of figurative painting and drawing was not easy to find in mid–century America, but an elite few received rigorous training at the Arts Center in Pasadena. MacDonald forged an alchemy of experience to become an artist whose drawings, paintings and sculpture portray the passion inherent in the human condition.

The inspiration behind MacDonald's 1996 tour de force, The Flair, a 26–foot gymnast caught in the execution of the maneuver, actually emerged from a painting he created for the 1984 Olympics. And although he based his design on the studies he did of Kurt Thomas for the painting, The Flair's essence lies more in the struggle, determination and hours of training, all brought to that instant when performance is everything. Therein lies the metaphor for his artistic achievements. MacDonald went on to create, among other masterworks, Momentum, a 15–foot, 15–ton sculpture created in celebration of the 100th playing of the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Pebble Beach.

The absence of opportunity and training in figurative sculpture has created a void not only in the preservation of fine art, but in the persistence of life, which MacDonald, a natural teacher and devoted mentor, works relentlessly to fill. He works tirelessly to increase the appreciation and understanding of figurative art throughout the world.

MacDonald also graciously gives of his art and his time to hundreds of charitable organizations, among those Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Make a Wish Foundation, and New York's "Free Arts for Abused Children," which was a charity event sponsored by Cirque du Soleil and Lincoln Automotive. His commitment to fostering the future of post–modern, neo–figurative art is realized not only in creating monuments to human triumph, but by imparting his knowledge and technique, his experience and his lessons to emerging international and national professional artists through intensive master classes on location at his own studio.

A life long passion for dance led Richard MacDonald to create a significant body of work inspired by dancers, performers, and mimes. Works such as Nureyev and Doves draw on his love for classical ballet, while in 2001 he began working with performers from Cirque du Soleil, and an entirely new genre was born. The excitement and energy conveyed by MacDonald's Cirque du Soleil inspired works quickly won admirers – including Guy Laliberte, the creator of Cirque du Soleil. Their mutual admiration developed into a partnership that brings the world Richard MacDonald's experience of the theatrical wonders of Cirque du Soleil: sculptures that reflect the unique, 21st century art form that is Cirque du Soleil.

As the neo–figurative movement gains momentum, Richard MacDonald is once again on the forefront, pushing back the boundaries and working to make the 21st century a new golden age for figurative sculpture.