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Richard F. Rockford

Richard F. Rockford

b. 1947
Born: Gloversville, NY

Richard Rockford is a found-materials artist who owns and operates Clarence Hollow Antiques and Art. Rockford earned his BA in Politics from Brandeis University in 1969, and quickly moved into the antiques world, first owning and operating Relics Antiques in Toronto from 1971 to 1976, when he moved to Clarence. [1]

Rockford creates his art using only old materials: old paper, old bits and pieces with old patina, old furniture. He limits his materials as a way to honor his love of old things.  He has a “desire to share the surfaces and things” that he loves. He challenges the viewer to see the old, discarded things around him/her as having beauty in both color and texture. [2]

He deliberately uses “low tech,” simple techniques because he wants the items to shine. Rather than “showing off advanced skills,” his creation of art is about showcasing the final piece and the items that helped him create it. He explains, “I want people to see and enjoy what I have done with discards, leftovers, and junk that swirl around us. I use very low 'tech' and I am proud that cruising around and simple tools are all I need to make a beautiful and yet professional item. All of my work aims to share. If I can share what I see, the feeling of discovering something great, how I organized it, how I joined it together...then my job is done.” [3]

Rockford’s desire to share his vision and show the history of his materials informs his process. “I take old surfaces—wooden panels, ink-stained blocks, deconstructed household furniture—and without changing their color and texture, I make them part of something colorful, genuine, and beautiful.” He creates his pieces quickly and intuitively with the intention that this “burst of creativity” be reflected in the final product. The “combination of aged surfaces and cabinet-of-curiosities packaging,” as well as his frenetic process allows him to create artwork in the present that honors the history and story of the materials, yet simultaneously gives the effect of the final work being old itself. [4]

[1] Richard Rockford, “Resume.”

[2] Richard Rockford, “About Me,” https://richardrockford.viewbook.com/about-me. (Accessed 10/05/2017)

[3] Richard Rockford, “Artist Statement.”

[4] Barry A. Muskat, “Richard Rockford: Changing the Remains of Industry into Art,” Buffalo Spree, March 2012, http://www.buffalospree.com/Buffalo-Spree/March-2012/Richard-Rockford/. (Accessed 10/05/2017)