Richard Newton

1948 Artist

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Richard Newton, aka. Ric Marin, was born in Oakland, California, 1948. He currently lives in Pasadena, California. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Irvine where he studied with Ed Moses, John Mason, Vija Celmins, Phil Leider and Barbara Rose, along with many other artist-professors.

Mr. Newton has shown artworks, artists’ books, films & videos and presented live performances and site-specific installations throughout the world. His one-of-a-kind books were shown at DOCUMENTA in Kassel, Germany. Some performances by Mr. Newton have found him in unusual places. For the Public Spirit Festival, the audience found him performing behind a chained door in a downtown derelict hotel. Titled, GET UNDER THE TABLE, DON'T LOOK AT THE WINDOWS, this performance dealt with alcoholism, family relationships, the nature of infinity and the threat of nuclear destruction. In another performance, the audience found THE MAN WHO COULD EAT GLASS locked in his hotel room, ruminating on what it means to be American and to be held hostage. The meaning of “hostage” was expanded to include being held by a foreign government, being held with criminal intent, being held by the mental illness of one’s own mind, and being held under the addiction to alcohol.

In the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles, Mr. Newton constructed The Grotto. It featured a well of beer, which was constantly refilled from The Grotto’s seeping walls of beer cans. At New York’s P.S. 1, he constructed an isolated desert landscape. The entire landscape, which filled an entire room in the gallery, was manufactured from flattened tin cans, broken beer bottles, and slices of bread. The only sounds were the intermittent crying of a baby and the persistent yelping of a small dog.

Mr. Newton’s early art films and videos have shown at museums, galleries,
ciné clubs, festivals, and on cable television. Mr. Newton’s FLYING WITH THE ANGELS, directed and produced with Nancye Ferguson, won many awards and screened at festivals and independent venues around the world. Another of Mr. Newton’s short films, SWIFT NUDES, won first prize at Certamen Internacional de Cine Ciutat D’Igualada, Barcelona, Spain. Mr. Newton’s first feature film, small white house won the award for Best First Feature and was runner-up as best film in the festival at the 19th Festival Internacional de Cinema, Figueira da Foz, Portugal. small white house also won at the ARCO ‘91, 1st Exhibition of Experimental Cinema, Madrid, Spain.

In the summer of 2012, Mr. Newton traveled to Tromso, Norway to participate in the 13th International Ibsen Conference. The International Ibsen Committee deemed Mr. Newton’s The Former Miss Barstow with every Tom, Dick, and Harry in a doll’s house, 1987, to be one of the notable versions in the 130-year history of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House productions. All of this started when The Former Miss Barstow was invited to reveal herself in Photography and Language by Camerawork Press, 1976, and continued through Touch a Penis with the Former Miss Barstow at LAICA in 1977.

[Source: Adapted from Richard Newton's Website]