Monterey, CA USA
Richard MacDonald is a celebrated sculptor whose commitment to the revival of figurative realism extends far beyond the studio. Known for his virtuosity in capturing impressions of live models while they are in motion, he is able to depict performers and dancers at the peak of their performance. Author Tom Wolfe describes MacDonald as “one of those rare artists who can feel the body in motion from the inside out”.
After graduating Cum Laude from Art Center College of Design in 1971, MacDonald took his place as a leading illustrator for Fortune 500 clients. For MacDonald the transition from painting to sculpture was a natural one: he understood the body “from the inside out”, in the classical manner, and began to reimagine figurative sculpture in several different genres, including ballet, mythology, athleticism, and mime. MacDonald achieved prominence in the world of contemporary figurative sculpture over the last twenty-five years by creating a diverse body of work that pivots around the central idea that the beauty of the human form in motion has universal meaning. And, despite his current standing as one of the world’s preeminent figurative realist sculptors, he firmly believes in art as journey rather than destination. “I feel I’m just beginning,” he says. “Every day I come into the studio and learn something new. It’s invigorating; it’s ecstatic; and it’s the stuff both life and dreams are made of”. Committed to inspiring future generations of artists, MacDonald is involved with numerous philanthropic pursuits and the development of the arts through mentoring programs and art education in schools and universities, as well as active apprenticeship positions in his studio and foundry in Monterey, California.
MacDonald counts among his collaborators some of the greatest dancers and performers in the world, including those from American Ballet Theatre and Cirque du Soleil. His work has been honored and awarded by such institutions as the United States Olympic Committee, The Royal Ballet, and the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art. His historically significant public monuments include The Flair, a 26-foot bronze sculpture permanently installed at Atlanta’s Georgia International Plaza for the 1996 Olympic Games, and Momentum, a 15-foot tall bronze celebrating 100 years of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Currently, he is creating The Grand Coda, a 16-foot monument in honor of Dame Ninette de Valois, the founder of The Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School in London. His pieces are found in important galleries and collections worldwide, and recent exhibits include those at the European Museum of Modern Art, in Barcelona, and Orchard Row, in Singapore.
MacDonald believes that beauty connects people and lifts their spirits to a higher level, and he includes himself in this equation. He has dedicated his career to making a difference by creating passionate works of art that dramatically enrich the lives of others, and to leading by example that a life lived in pursuit of that which elevates us is a life well-lived.