First published: Summer 2003
There is something elusive about the visionary artist Richard Greaves. While his environmental installations are undeniably artistically and historically significant, comparable to the work of Gaudi, Ferdinand Cheval, Simon Rodia and Kurt Schwitters, Greaves himself remains ghost-like.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to see him at work or even to talk with him. As his partner Jocelyne puts it, ‘Richard doesn’t want to be watched like a curiosity.’ By his silence, and his refusal to mediate between his art and his audience, Greaves collaborates, unintentionally, in his mythification.
Only the act of creating seems to matter to this man. We know some details of his early life: he was born in the Montreal area in 1950, studied theology and worked in the hotel business. For the past 15 years, since he settled on an isolated and heavily wooded piece of land in the Quebec countryside, Greaves has concentrated on his art, getting up at sunrise to work on his exuberant and unrestrained environment, an eminently constructive and positive act.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #43