Rick Armellini, born in 1947 in Little Rock, Arkansas, is a self-taught artist, sculptor, and photographer. In the late 1960's and 70's, his main focus was on sculpture. He has work in private collections, has done commissions for various corporations, and two of his pieces were purchased by the Arkansas Art Center for their permanent collection.
Although Rick considers himself a sculptor at heart and, in 1992 produced the Newman series in bronze, he is also well-known for his handmade copper kaleidoscopes, jewelry, and holographic mobiles that he produced from the early 1980's until the late 1990's.
Starting out on a laptop computer in 1997, he began producing his dreamlike, and sometimes romantic, digital impressions of Eureka Springs.
he images labeled Red Stairwell are full-frame photographs with minor color enhancement. The stairs were separated by a glass partition, which acted like a mirror depending on the position of the camera. By resting the camera on the glass and adjusting the angle of the lens, I was able to control reality and its reflection. I was intrigued with the way the angle of the lens, in relation to the glass, caused the reflection to merge with the reality of the background. This is particularly obvious in Red Stairwell #1 and Red Stairwell #3 where the handrail starts at the top in 3-dimension and ends at the bottom as a flat shape against the texture of the wall in the background.
The second part of this project, labeled Red Stairwell Detail, is less about photography and more about computer graphics. In this group of work, I started with a cropped detail from one of the original photos and exposed it to extensive digital manipulation, color enhancement and replacement, and lighting changes - a process of moving the details of reality toward abstraction.
While this work is based in photography, I believe my background as a sculptor influences the images more. I feel that the color is critical but it was the incredible shapes and their relationship to each other that caught my eye.