Born in Cape Town, Richard Butler-Bowdon’s ethos has been that of a citizen of the world, and whether residing in the Sudan, Thailand, the Netherlands or in his current home in Melbourne, Australia, his utmost dedication is to art and the art community. Fundamentally, his practice is an outcome of this open and non-hierarchical curiosity in humanity.
Taking on the most formal and historical traditions of portraiture, Butler- Bowdon challenges the viewer to break with these self-same conventions and presumptions that accompany lofty traditions by taking his observations from those living in the diaspora. His subjects are contra-historical; they are contemporary and undeniably compelling. Far from the exotic, Butler- Bowdon’s paintings create magnetic and subversive narratives that invite the viewer into the world of ‘the Other’, to enter a dynamic gaze that is defiant to preconceptions.