Rich Sheaffer

San Marcos, CA, USA

Socio-Political Abstractionism is a term used by Rich Sheaffer starting in 2017 to describe his genre of art in which hot-button social topics being discussed in the political milieu are expressed via painting in abstract form.  

Such works are primitive expressions of dreams or visions.  They are not intended to be realistic, accurate or precise expressions of any real things, but rather expressions of ethereal dreams or visions of concern to the artist.  They typically use generous applications of heavy-body acrylic paint to portray what the artist sees.  They do not use concepts of lighting, shadow, perspective or other aspects of more traditional art, but rather portray dream-like, abstract images that exist even fleetingly in the artist’s mind.  Being the art of a “common man”, although artist brushes may be used on occasion, the artist may use his hand and fingers, outdoor tools, utensils found in his kitchen or garage, and so on.

Generally, each work is inspired by an event, or something said, or something done in the social or political world that inspires the artist, or provides the material for nightmares.  

Ideally, the works are intended to present an issue, advocating for democratic principles, human rights and human decency, albeit without advocating a particular side or political party to support. The artist hopes that all significant issues are dealt with by all political parties on a non-partisan basis, in a manner indicative of basic human decency and respect, for the benefit of all.  The artist also recognizes the difficulties of that occurring, and points out through his works many of these significant issues needing resolution.  These works represent dreams or visions of the artist for discussion and debate and, ideally, fresh insights for each viewer.