Kidspace at MASS MoCA
October 4, 2007 – February 24, 2008
It’s Rude to Stare features the sculpture and drawings of English-born, Vermont-based artist Richard Criddle. In a personal 'archaeological dig' into his childhood fears and stories Criddle, as many of us do, interprets these memories as larger than life. He presents his autobiography as oversized sculptural figures made from wood, bronze, fabricated steel and found objects such as wooden blinds, furniture components, a furnace shovel and heavy industrial hardware.
Criddle's trip down memory lane produces vivid impressions of people from his past. Many of the sculptures were inspired by real people who made a lasting impact on the artist, including his school-teachers, a grumpy war veteran, and a disabled child (at whom his mother told him “it was rude to stare”).
Criddle merges these true stories of actual people with those found in folklore to create hybrid figures—half real, half mythological. Their sculptural presence in the gallery resonates with our collective and personal memories as well as the artist's own.
The collages, drawings, and mixed media self-portraits in the exhibition reveal the artist’s interest in how we experience ourselves, past, present, and in relationship to others. These drawings, along with Criddle's huge sculptural figures, provoke us to consider: are we looking at them or are we the object of scrutiny? Is the crowd looking at us?