Richard MacDonald is a renowned living American figurative artist who is recognized for his hyper-realistic bronze and marble sculptures of performers, dancers and gymnasts. Born in Pasadena, California in 1946, MacDonald was the second of a large family of five children. Artists ran in his family and upon graduation from high school was inspired by an uncle in the advertising field to apply for a scholarship, which he won, to Art Center College of Design. The artist graduated with a prestigious cum laude award in 1971 and launched his career in the arts.
For the next few years, Richard MacDonald worked as an illustrator for companies such as AT&T, NFL and Coca Cola but a later dispute with the soda magnate in 1978 would propel MacDonald into becoming an advocate for artist’s rights. Eventually the copyright laws for artists to retain their rights to their works would be changed, due in part to his efforts.
In 1979 MacDonald opened his studio “American Illustrators Gallery” in Atlanta, Georgia and later that year sold his first bronze work. His first public placement, Christus Rex, was a 9 foot floating bronze Christ figure which was placed in front of a stained glass window of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in 1985. In the mid-80s, MacDonald was commissioned to do several exterior artworks including a reflecting pool, lighting, plaza and heroic monument for Steven F. Austin University in Texas as well as a spiraling 18 foot sculpture for MGM Headquarters. A fire, which burned his studio including all of his works and commissions in the Sierras, was a devastating blow to the artist but later that year he had his first sculpture exhibit at the Los Angeles Art Expo.
Throughout the 1990’s, the talented Richard MacDonald won many awards including “Best in Show” at the Art Center College of Design, a gold medal at the “Knickerbocker Artists Annual Exhibition” and the esteemed “Montana Memorial Award” from the National Sculpture Society. The artist has won many international awards and honors including recognition by the prestigious United States Olympic Committee. His enormous bronze sculpture “The Flair” for the 1996 Summer Olympics continues to be one of the most visited monuments in Atlanta.
Richard MacDonald has worked with some of the most premier dance schools and performers in the world include Guy Laliberté founder of Cirque du Soleil, whose relationship with MacDonald began in 1997 and continues through this day. Numerous sculptures were inspired by the Cirque performers including “Bullwhip”, “Elena” and the seminal “Sasha”. MacDonald has also worked with prestigious dance academies and professional troupes including The Royal Ballet of London, The American Ballet Theater and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Sculptures such as “Nureyev Heroic”, the impressive tribute to the muscular dancer, is a direct result of the collaboration MacDonald has had with some of the most revered athletes and dancers in the world.
Richard MacDonald has become one of the leading advocates of an art movement known as “neo-figurative”, melding classical sculpture emphasizing the lightness and strength of the human form with modern techniques and compositions. His work not only portrays the beauty of the human form but also the spirit behind, that drives it. Hundreds of exhibits of MacDonald’s works have been shown throughout the world and collectors include budding art collectors, aficionados, celebrities as well as Heads of State.
Richard MacDonald is an artist advocate and is committed to teaching and inspiring future generations. To this day, MacDonald has continued his pursuit to protect artists and is involved with several philanthropies whose focus is mentoring programs. Additionally, MacDonald works with schools and universities on art education, grateful for the education he received and willing to give back to communities in support of the arts.