David Frederick Riley | Larger than Life: Artist Reception: Thursday, February 17, 7-9pm

14 - 26 February 2022 Scottsdale

Solo Exhibition | Scottsdale, AZ


Altamira FIne Art Scottsdale is pleased to present Larger than Life, a new solo exhibition from David Frederick Riley.


Join us for the Artist Reception Thursday, February 17 from 7-9pm.



Larger than Life

A favorite song from eighth grade, rediscovered, teleports the listener back to that moment, to that self that swooned the tune.


“All of our previous selves are still alive in us, but under the surface,” David Frederick Riley says, reflecting on his life as an artist ahead of his Altamira exhibition. To prepare, Riley has been perusing his old sketchbooks, many of which are filled with the faces he idolized as a teen and young adult: famous athletes, musicians, Hollywood icons. “Portraiture is my oldest love of painting and drawing.” As such, this latest series of celebrity portraits—seemingly a departure from the wildlife and Western subjects that have defined his oeuvre over the past decade—actually represent a full circle return to his creative roots.


“Looking through these sketchbooks, I’ve been immediately transported back to who I was when I drew that picture. The act of drawing a portrait leaves a mark somewhere inside me, and now, I’m going back to that mark. In some cases, I feel a twinge of sadness and depression, while others stir excitement and positivity.” 


Remembrance mixed with acumen. His empathic renderings of animals—influenced by his rural surroundings in Utah—have taught him volumes. “Painting wildlife has made me acutely aware of how the subject interacts with the viewer, how they enter or exist within the frame of the canvas, how composition helps tell the story and indicates the character of the animal.”


Riley embraces the challenge of applying such lessons to people, the dualism of known and unknown. In a strange twist of body-mind synchronicity, the artist recently broke his dominant hand, an injury that introduces another form of aesthetic duality: to avoid pain, he must consider each mark he makes, while also relinquishing control whatever arises. With every brushstroke, he asks himself: “Is this worth the pain it’s going to cause to make it?” As a result, his current paintings are more loose, less fussed. “I’m putting a mark down and leaving it.” 


“These new portraits draw from my current vibration. They’ll be new but they’ll also pull on those previous experiences from former selves.”


Pre-sales available. For more details contact the gallery, (480) 949-1256, az@altamiraart.com