Raymond Gaddy grew up in southwest Alabama and his work is strongly influenced by the stories he heard there during his youth. According to Gaddy, there is a long tradition of Southern storytellers, historians of the mundane. Many of the South’s great writers fit into this category. As a result of being immersed in this environment, he too has become a storyteller. Not being blessed with the gift of words, Gaddy presents his stories in visual form, creating tapestries that combine different images, materials, and textures that are linked together by colorful threads. The stories he presents are based on everyday experiences and observations because, as Gaddy puts it, “The best stories have a history, a provenance, which gives them some gravity.”
His artwork has been exhibited throughout the U.S and Europe and his work is in numerous collections including the College of Notre Dame of Maryland; The Savannah College of Art and Design; and the Library of Congress. Raymond is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship and a Joan Mitchell Grant.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Painting and Drawing
Savannah College of Art and Design: M.A., Arts Administration 2013
University of Alabama: M.F.A., Painting/Drawing 2000
University of Alabama at Birmingham: B.F.A., Painting 1996
Media Appearances (2)
Raymond Gaddy: Storytelling through art
Connect Savannah online
“I don’t think there is any such thing as a purely truthful story,” Gaddy says. “I think there is always a bias. We tend to exaggerate stories, particularly when we are telling them to our friends. They become tall tales.” It’s such stories that visually play out in Gaddy’s work. A collection of his recent mixed-media drawings, “Tall Tales”, is currently on view at the Cultural Arts Gallery through August 28. Gaddy’s interest in storytelling stems from diverse sources—his family, science fiction, Renaissance and Baroque paintings and medieval art, which he relates to other influences, like comic books.
Artist Raymond Gaddy presents “Tall Tales” at the Cultural Arts Gallery
Savannah Herald online
This exhibit features mixed media paintings that record stories of artist Raymond Gaddy’s life and those around him. Gaddy describes the body of work as a euphemism to storytelling. He defines himself as a “recorder”. He states that his ability to tell stories is more visual than spoken. “Each piece is an amalgamation of several stories, bits and pieces that are collected into one idea,” said Gaddy. “These pieces are records of my studies and explorations”, he said. To record his experiences, Gaddy makes a list and keep notes or sketches on a variety of interests. “These woven tapestries of my everyday are threaded with the stories of friends and family,” said Gaddy. He utilizes paint, oil and mixed media in his works to represent his upbringing and southern heritage. In his own artistic style, he has taken on the role of the historian for his extended family. “A tall tale is an exaggeration of the truth, an embellishment of the ordinary, he continues, “the best stories have a history, a provenance, which gives them some gravity,” said Gaddy.