Richard Pearson

Commerce with the Muse by Richard PearsonIt was his “old time baseball” photos that first caught my eye. As I read his blog, I discovered I really liked his Polaroids. Yes, in the digital era, Richard Pearson shoots his art with 60 year-old technology.

Pearson isn’t against the new tools. The 30-year old Polk County native majored in Digital Media with the hope of becoming a photojournalist. Instead, life took him down the artist’s path. Pearson has publicly displayed his art since 2000, but the work I noticed was the result of a happy accident in 2005,

I was about to throw away all these random Polaroids one day. For some reason I took one and torn it apart. I started washing it, and realized once the Polaroid is washed, it becomes transparent. A friend and I figured out a way to add the elements behind the Polaroid. Everything is done from behind the Polaroid; so the original image is still very present. I like to use old books and magazines, I have found that they tear a lot easier than new books. The scans don’t do them justice but that is the only way for me to keep a record of the piece. If you every seen one in person, the front has a really nice glassy feel to it.

Pearson calls the work Polaroid Collage, and it is only a part of his art. His blog, RapidView, also features his other photography. In addition to the “Old Ball Game” photos I stumbled over, he shoots thought-provoking portraits and simply fun images. Less updated is his personal site, Richard Pearson Photography, but it includes his documentary work.

Photography isn’t only his art, it’s his day job. In addition to selling his work at many area art shows, Pearson is a wedding photographer and portraitist. He’s also the Curator of Art for the not-for-profit organization Platform Florida,

My job is to find emerging and local artist to showcase their work. I also serve on the Board of Directors. Platform is such a great organization. It is really growing, and I have a feeling that one day its going to do great things for the community of Lakeland and for the artists of Central Florida.

Pearson will unveil his next show in September at Mitchell’s Coffee House; a photographic tribute to WWII veterans living in Polk County.

I think it would be great for our community to see how many are living in our area. My goal is to photography as many WWII Veterans as I can. I have never done anything like this, and I think it would be a great honor to do something for the men and women that served our country.

Originally from Auburndale, Pearson has made Lakeland his home for the last five years. Anyone interested in contacting him for wedding work, or to inquire about purchasing his art, can reach him through email at: ScreenShot017.jpg

Illustration © Richard Pearson