From his youth, Richard was captivated by these expressive forms. The emergence of his artistic sensitivity might have been a compensation for his anxious nature and consequential stuttering, which presented daily challenges. Forced to adapt socially, he found solace and autonomy in solitude, dedicating countless hours to exploring and honing his skills.
Upon admission to the École Nationale des Beaux-arts de Lyon, Richard passionately delved into his studies, expanding his horizons and fortifying his artistic sensitivity over five transformative years. His education, reflections, and creative outlook were profoundly shaped by the influence of his professor, Patrick Raynaud. In his final year, during an exchange with the prestigious FEMIS film school, Richard was selected to write and direct a 35mm short film, shot nocturnally at the Palais de Tokyo under the supervision of then FEMIS director, Jack Gajos.
Graduating with honors in June 1990, Richard, despite a promising start, harbored a belief that he was an artist only because he was young. He pivoted towards a more socially comprehensible profession in his hometown. It wasn’t until 13 years later that he realized his artistic drive was irrepressible.
Moving to Paris, Richard opened a communication agency to reconnect with a creative environment. When a client requested a fashion catalog, and finding photographers’ demands complex, Richard invested in professional photographic equipment to execute the photos himself. The endeavor was a success, revealing the emotional power of photography and establishing him as a fashion photographer within his agency, where he executed various campaigns and worked in perfume and music industries.
In June 2006, Richard allowed himself a personal photo session, strolling through Paris and capturing city details, naming this series "Detail session ". The images struck a chord and garnered interest. In December 2006, a selection was exhibited at the trendy Music-hall restaurant in the capital, where he sold several prints, encouraging him to continue his long-buried artistic quest.
Richard decided to continue this journey alongside his communication agency, exploring varied and often provocative themes in his "DETAIL" collection and venturing into experimental video creation. His "PROHIBITED" collection (May 2008) and "NUMBER" collection (November 2010) challenged societal norms and pushed the boundaries of contemporary art, respectively.
In September 2012, Richard relocated to Taichung, Taiwan, becoming a VJ at the renowned 18TC club, mixing his photos and artistic films in real-time on a giant screen. His career blossomed with numerous opportunities and a planned tour in Japan. However, in August 2012, a serious family issue forced an urgent return to France.
A mental break ensued, and Richard fell seriously ill, halting his agency’s activities from September 2012 to December 2015. A prescribed shock treatment of 12 electroconvulsive therapy sessions brought a realization of the societal taboo and collective misunderstanding surrounding psychiatric illness. This period of devastation and self-doubt lasted four years, during which Richard abstracted from everything he had undertaken.
However, a mysterious force led him to produce two series in August and December 2014, which he attributes to his subconscious. Today, these series evoke great emotion and pride whenever presented, standing as undeniable testimony to his long-inhibited artistic legitimacy.
2016 marked a unique and determined new beginning to develop his artistic career. However, as François Truffaut said, "Life has much more imagination than us." Another difficult event in his close entourage echoed this phrase, slowing his professional projects but solidifying his promise to be an unwavering, unconditionally devoted presence, guided by unbreakable love.
From 2017, Richard's work took a peculiar turn, as if a new door opened onto a universe awaiting revelation. Drawings appeared in his universe, reflecting a mental revolution and thematic research inscribed in a new sensitivity. Each piece is a manifestation of his inner exploration and quest for meaning.
In 2019, the DETAIL collection concluded with sixty unique series, revealing a multidirectional view on often neglected or unsaid aspects of our reality. In 2020, the "FROM SCRATCH" collection emerged, an unconstrained photographic exploration of form, color, and emotion, reflecting on the surrounding world and responding to the era.
The transition from DETAIL to FROM SCRATCH and the integration of drawing into his work resonate in the claim: "ART IS ART," underlining that art is not limited to a medium, style, or technique. Richard Schlang refuses monotony and continues to push the limits of his artistic expression, proving that art, in all its forms, is an endless exploration of creativity and human expression.
His artistic universe testifies to art's ability to capture, express, and inspire—here and now—in full consciousness—and perhaps—a step to the side. His work celebrates the power of art, affirming that art is not only about beauty but also truth, meaning, and connection.
Welcome to his world.