Von the Artist

Modern artist man in the tropics. Inspired by the tropical paradise of Jamaica.

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I am a dynamic artist living in Jamaica and working out of my studio at "SeaScape" Oracabessa in the parish of St. Mary. I have exhibited extensively on the island throughout my professional career, between 1982 and 2003. I exhibited in London very early in my career would like to do so again in 2009. I am very prolific and successfully sell most of the work that I produce. A diverse clientèle now own my work worldwide, which has been fueled by my connections within tourism. A large amount of my work has been sold to visitors from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

After studying at the Jamaica College of Art, I went on to study at Goldsmith's College of Art in London, under the tutelage of Professor Harry Thubron. I have credited Harry to be in my opinion the father of 21st century art, seeing that all of his students who gained inspiration from him are now practicing artists here in the new millennium. Living in London in the late seventies and experiencing the rock n roll genesis and hip London culture of that time has helped to inspire decades of my work. I have enjoyed visiting London in subsequent years, and my children have returned to England to live. I have a real affection for the city and many memories there. Yet my heart is in Jamaica, I love my tropical paradise and draw much inspiration from its beauty.

This website showcases some of my work. I have included a wide selection of pieces from different time periods give a good overall look at my abstract form. Music is very much a part of my creative process, and I listen to a lot of music, especially while painting. I think my paintings definitely have a musical connection within the five senses. What I am seeing and painting is what I am hearing and relating to at the same time, if the paintings were like movies there would be a musical score in there somewhere. The female form always has been a major source of pictorial language for me. The main stream work is composed from exotic tropical plant life and the female form incorporated. I play with the shapes found both within woman and nature until I find some satisfying organic logic. I see the earth as our mother and we are coming from her, nurtured by her and shall inevitably return to her sooner or later. My latest exploration within this finding process of organic form and shape is to create architectural structures combining the human biological construction with aerodynamic form.



An interview with Von the Artist, here Von gives some insight into his style of Tropical Modern Art.


An interview with Brian Mack of the Shifters. Brian will open the October 7th, 2011 exhibition in Bay City. 


 Exhibition in Bay City, Michicgan, USA, the opening day, October 7th 2011. Exhibition was called "Rock n Roll Cars, Places and Visions". Richard Von White shows 36 works of art. Most of which have sold.



Von the artist man (Ocho Rios, Jamaica)     At work in my studio, "SeaScape" Oracabessa.


"SeaScape" St. Mary, Jamaica 

"Sea Scape" is in walking distance from "Golden Eye" the former residence of Ian Fleming the creator James Bond 007


Von talks about old Oracabessa



Goldeneye postcard 007 


More in the press

news papers:

                                        THE DAILY GLEANER, TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 1987

Light Entertainment

"Fantasy Faces and Places"
reviewed by Andrew Hope


Humour has always been an important element in our painting, but it has almost disappeared In recent years, Its place taken by what could be called "high seriousness".

Even such painters as Carl Abrahams, Roy Reid and Milton Georges, who traditionally provided light entertainment, seem to have tailed off, leaving us at the mercy of artists for whom humour is a bad word, Thus the current one-man show of paintings and drawings by Richard "Von" White, mounted at the Gallery Makonde, Wyndham Hotel, comes at the right moment, and although his brand of humour is not particularly subtle, provides a deal of amusement that is not unwelcome.

"Von" White trained In England and his style allies him to some extent to British pop painters, well known for their jokey approach to art, so his palette is light and cheerful with optimistic, rosy tones predominating in most of the paintings. They well support the exhibition's theme "Fantasy Places and Faces" and are not far off illustrations of fairy-tales in their frantic fight from reality and logic.

Needless to say, much of the narrative is autobiographical and "Von" White emerges from them as a kind of Walter Mitty, dreaming of fantastic triumphs in totally impossible circumstances. We see him, for instance, as in intrepid matador, heralded by a trumpeter, about to fight a bull in a setting which is distinctly Jamaican, or on a flying carpet, heading for Baghdad, in company of a ravishing Eastern beauty, or else as an indomitable explorer in Mexico, communing with Aztec culture.

Elsewhere we see him as a dashing sheikh on horseback with a Turkish belle, eloping mystically to an unknown destination, and he reappears on the north coast as a sculptor in a makeshift studio. In a picture titled 'Sculptor Aroused', with an exotic nude standing at its side who had something to do with this new inspiration.

The erotic atmosphere spreads even to what may seem at first straight landscapes and seascapes. Just as Aubrey Beardsley, who slyly introduced symbolic Freudian forms and shapes into his intricate designs, to hoodwink the Victorian censor, so "Von-White ingeniously equates organic forms, such as fowers, petals, stems and trees with the human figure.

Thus man and nature appear as one or at any rate closely allied, which for a change, is not a fantasy.




Richard Von White paints tranquillity

by Crescencia Leon Medhurst

(download newspaperclip)

The space at the new Mutual Life Gallery comfortably houses two galleries. On this occasion the public is offered two solo exhibitions in the month of March. Richard "Von" White (painter) is located at the furthest end of the gallery; and, Philip Supersad (potter) is nearer to the entrance.

The colours of the painter, Richard "Von" White is intriguing. Like scraps of silks the paintings absorb the essential colours of sky, sun and sea. The canvas surface exude the freedom of leisure time in the tropics. Tranquillity is the prevailing message.

Viewers will cast aside the lack of research, draughtsmanship or even, descriptive lines and accept the emotions which are, invoked in exchange for the vibrant colours. "Bouganville at Rock Hill" is more of the essence of the flower than a biological study of the branch of red blooms.

In "Splashes at Galina Point" the waves pound against the shoreline and the experience emerges from a mount of grapetree leaves. Two pieces contain a feel of temporary enjoyment: The "Grape Leaves and Fruit" arrangement looks like an impromptu still life by the beach; as well as, "Sculpture on James Bond Beach" assembled from driftwood holds an unusual concept of vacation-life.

Influences of Paul Gauguin, seeps into the paintings of "AD 2001 Dream" and "Nude in Rock Dream" where the structure of the figure is not at its strongest level. Frequently, form gives way to colour.

Richard "Von" White attended the Jamaica School of Art for a year before spending a year at, Hammersmith College of Art/Chelsea School of Art in London and completing his degree in Fine Arts at Goldsmith' College. Since 1977 Von White has held solo exhibitions at Olympia International Arts Centre, Bolivar Gallery, Diplomat Gallery, Harmony Hall Ocho Rios, Mutual Life Gallery, and Gallery Makonde Wyndham Hotel. The painter who lives on the, north coast of Jamaica has created murals at Boscobel Beach Hotel St Mary, and Franklyn D. Resort St Ann.