The Masks We Wear: Paintings of diverse figures who thrive despite being invisible to the patriarchy

Divinity © Paul Richmond. All images courtesy of the artist. Via CB submission

In his series, The Masks We Wear, Paul Richmond portrays diverse characters who "thrive within the outskirts of mainstream society despite being regarded as invisible by the conservative patriarchy".

There's an expressive application of paint that gives the Californian artist's subjects an undeniable presence while the gestural, emotive marks suggest their resounding humanity.

Masks, often tools for disguise, take on a metaphorical role that connect the models to a greater narrative, engaging a dialogue of identity, otherness, and personal mythology.

"My treatment of form explores both reality and abstraction, engaging colour, shape, and pattern to continuously deconstruct and rebuild," Richmond tells Creative Boom. "The painterly surface becomes a mask in itself – the visceral, emotive marks reduce the literalness of the depiction while invoking a more substantive connection to the figure and their story."

The Masks We Wear is currently on display at the Not Sheep Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. To discover more visit notsheepgallery.com or you can purchase limited-edition prints from Richmond's website.

American Dreamer © Paul Richmond

American Dreamer © Paul Richmond

Mise en Face © Paul Richmond

Mise en Face © Paul Richmond

Wounded Healer © Paul Richmond

Wounded Healer © Paul Richmond

Not What You Think © Paul Richmond

Not What You Think © Paul Richmond

The Creator © Paul Richmond

The Creator © Paul Richmond

Out of the Shadows © Paul Richmond

Out of the Shadows © Paul Richmond

Salvage © Paul Richmond

Salvage © Paul Richmond

Cloaked © Paul Richmond

Cloaked © Paul Richmond