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July 06, 2021
An incredible artist who we are honored to work with is contemporary, Christian artist J. Kirk Richards. His popular works of art capture the life of Christ in a truly unique and meaningful way. J. Kirk Richards art is versatile enough to look great in any home while still being personal and beautiful.
According to his biography, J. Kirk Richards was heavily influenced by his time on a mission in Rome, Italy. He uses subdued browns and rusts to drive his color palette. In an interview with Ben Crowder for “Mormon Artist” (which you can find here), Richards indicated that his mission had an important impact on his work.
“You get off the plane and practically every corner you turn, you’re bumping into sculptures and statues. During preparation days, we’d go to museums like the Vatican Museum in Rome, and some of the great churches that have amazing paintings—like Caravaggio paintings—but even in the smaller towns, there was a culture of art which affected my painting.” (Read more here.)
But, painting and art was not J. Kirk Richards’ first love. As a child, he was very involved in music which gave him an appreciation for the arts. He continues in his interview with Ben Crowder,
“Like many creative kids, I used to draw as a child. Then as a young teenager I saw the movie Dead Poets Society and decided that I didn’t want to do music anymore. I stomped up to my parents and demanded that they let me quit music lessons. They were really wise and encouraged me to continue, saying that if I felt the same way after a year, they’d let me stop music lessons. So I did, and a year later, I felt the same way, and I ended up swapping—I convinced them to let me stop music lessons in exchange for art lessons. So, from about the age of 14, I had a private art teacher and was also taking art classes at school.”
We are incredibly grateful for his change in tune and switch to art classes. J. Kirk Richards' art is now one of our most popular, and for good reason. His powerful yet subtle depictions of Christ make an impact and remind the viewer of Christ’s love for each one of His children.
While each piece of J. Kirk Richards art is incredible, we put together this list of just a few of our current favorites.
“And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.” (Luke 9:11)
Christ was and still is the healer. This J. Kirk Richards piece speaks to the power that Christ has in our lives when we let Him in. Subtle, muted colors and loose brush strokes invoke a sense of peace and serenity.
The resurrected Christ appeared to His disciples on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias (John 21). Three times He asked Peter, “Lovest thou me more than these?” He then told Peter, “Feed my sheep.” This painting depicts the fishermen gathering and tending to their nets, with Christ beckoning to them, asking them the great question of priorities. Gospel service gives us all the opportunity to heed Christ’s injunction—to leave our daily tasks and minister to our brothers and sisters in need.
Our Heavenly Father never gives up on us. The Savior said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelations 2:20)
J. Kirk Richards captures the essence of the Messiah with loose brush strokes in Christ Portrait VII.
“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” (Revelation 8:13)
J. Kirk Richards’ contemporary depiction of Joseph Smith's first vision. An incredible depiction of this essential moment in history, and a must see for every Latter-day Saint.
The humble sacrifice and perseverance of pioneers is beautifully captured in The Carriers by J. Kirk Richards.
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